Kaduna Security: 18 Killed As Bandits Attack Three LGAs

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.

 

Bandits have killed no fewer than 18 people in Giwa, Chikun and Igabi local government areas of Kaduna State.

The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the incident in a statement on Wednesday.

The three Local Government Areas have been under constant attacks by bandits in recent time.

According to Aruwan, the bandits attacked Anaba village in Igabi local government area and killed seven people. He gave their names as Ali Musa, Isa Sharehu, Tijjani Isa, Auwalu Shehu, Hashim Abdullahi, Hassan Saidu and Umar Rilwanu.

Many of the houses in the community were also burnt down by the bandits along with storehouses and barns, while they also rustled no fewer than 20 cows during the operation.

Similarly, the bandits also attacked Barinje village in Chikun local government area killing eight persons, including Sunday Gwamna, Lawal Jizo, Salha Barau, Sabo Barau, Umaru Barau, Muhammadu Dan Azumi, Zailani Dogara and Jikan Gambo.

Read Also: Senate Confirms Abdulrasheed Bawa As New EFCC Boss

Some residents of the village were also abducted, and cattle rustled during the attack, while an unspecified number of injured victims are receiving treatment in hospitals.

In another operation, armed bandits attacked the loosely connected communities of Kwarten Rigasa, Kwarten Waziri and Kwarten Shaku in Igabi local government area.

The bandits reportedly emerged from the Buruku area and raided the villages in a cattle rustling operation and in the process, killed one Danjuma Isa from neighboring Ungwan Kanti village as he made his way on foot to Kwarten Rigasa.

Similarly, armed bandits invaded Sanhu Makera village in Birnin Yero of Igabi local government area and killed one Yakubu Abdullahi, a farmer in the village, while another person was killed by unknown assailants in unusual circumstances, at the Ministerial Pilot Housing Estate, Millennium City in Chikun local government area.

According to Aruwan, the attacks on soft targets at Anaba and Barinje villages in Igabi and Chikun LGAs respectively followed the killing of several armed bandits through targeted air operations.

He disclosed that air platforms had earlier conducted armed reconnaissance around Anaba village during which the crew observed houses on fire and locals migrating to nearby settlements.

He further disclosed that many bandits on motorcycles were neutralised by troops at Kankomi village and neighbouring communities as well as
Kuyanbana forest while many of them escaped with bullet wounds.

The security agencies, however, appealed to the communities to report anyone found with suspicious bullet wounds to the Security Operations Room.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has expressed sadness over the unfortunate incidents and has sent his condolences to the families of all those killed in the attacks, while offering prayers for the repose of their souls. He also wishes the injured a quick recovery.

NSTA Passengers’ Kidnap: They Threatened To Kill Us, Abducted Victim Narrates Ordeal

Barrister Hauwa Abdulsalam, one of the 53 passengers of the Niger State Transit Authority (NSTA) that was kidnapped along the Zungeru-Minna road on February 14, has narrated her ordeal with the bandits.

Speaking to Channels Television on Monday, Abdulsalam said the bandits threatened to kill all of the captives, noting that they were heavily armed.

While identifying the leader of the bandits to be one Katalla Alli, the legal practitioner said during the seven-day period they were held captive, they only had access to dirty water from the river.

“They cannot be described, they are armed. They are heartless, fearless and said they were going to kill us,” she said when asked to describe her captors.

“And they mean it, I swear they mean it. It was yesterday that they gave the deadline, from yesterday they would start killing the men and today, they would kill the women. The leader swore and he meant it, he said is name is Katalla Alli.”

According to her, the leader of the group complained about the government, adding that thy (the bandits) were given several promises during the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

READ ALSO: Niger Govt Secures Release Of 53 Kidnapped NSTA Passengers

When asked what the promises were, Abdulsalam said the bandits’ leader told her shelter, hospital, good education and put them on a monthly payroll.

Barrister Hauwa Abdulsalam was one of the 53 passengers of the Niger State Transit Authority (NSTA) that was kidnapped along the Zungeru-Minna road on February 14.

 

She noted that when the 2015 general elections came and went, the government reneged on its earlier promise, thus forcing them to indulge in banditry.

“They were just complaining about the government that the government promised them something during the election.

“They didn’t fulfil it, that was what prompted them to be into this banditry of a thing and kidnapping. They were telling us that if the government can fulfil their promise.

“The government promised to give them shelter, good education, they will pay some of them salaries, farms and everything, but the government refused,” she added.

Meanwhile, all the 53 passengers abducted by bandits from have now been reunited with their families one week after their abduction.

They arrived at the Niger State Government House in Minna on Sunday night and were received by Governor Abubakar Bello and other top government officials.

Negotiating With Bandits, Not A Sign Of Failure – Zamfara Governor

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle on Monday said negotiating with bandits is not a sign of failure.

He disclosed this at the Government House in Gusau while receiving some repentant bandits who surrendered their weapons and embraced his administration’s peace deal.

Governor Matawalle believes the only way to put a stop to the current insecurity in the state is to dialogue with the bandits.

He also described as unfortunate the thinking of some politicians who regarded the peace initiative as a failure, arguing that every war ends on the dialogue table.

“It is not a failure or thing of failure for someone to initiate dialogue. Nowhere in the world is succeeding without coming to the table to sit down and negotiate.

“Just for today, the weapons we have here show and indicate the successes we have recorded because leaving this kind of dangerous weapons in the bush can create a lot of havoc.

“By bringing them to the security agencies, we have reduced their capacity and capability. Allowing these weapons to carry their weapons round to communities, cross-border to other states, that is what has made Nigeria be in the hot seat as of today,” he said.

READ ALSO: Again, Three Repentant Bandits Surrender Arms In Zamfara

Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, commended the state government for the peace initiative, noting that it is achieving the desired result.

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, speaks at the Government House in Gusau while some bandits surrendered their weapons on February 22, 2021.

 

He however called on other bandits to make up their minds and surrender their weapons for peace to reign in the state.

“This is an indication that the peace process is steadily moving and the message of peace is sinking into the population,” he said.

“With this epoch-making event, we believe that citizens of Zamfara State and residents will have relief. The quantum of weapons taken today is sufficient leverage in our peace-making efforts.

“I want to use this opportunity to call on all other weapons that are still undecided to a cue from the process today and submit their firearms,” he added.

Earlier on February 8, eight repentant bandits embraced the amnesty deal and surrendered their weapons to the Zamfara State Government.

The weapons including AK-47 rifles, General Multipurpose Machine Gun (GPMG), Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG), and several ammunitions were surrendered at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.

‘They Are Peaceful People’: Sheikh Gumi Makes Case For Fulani-Herdsmen-Turned-Bandits

 

Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has reiterated that Fulani herdsmen involved in banditry are victims of circumstance.

Sheikh Gumi restated his position during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday.

The cleric has previously advocated for the bandits to be granted amnesty after meeting them in the bush.

“When I listened to them, I found out that it is a simple case of criminality which turned into banditry, which turned into ethnic war, and some genocide too behind the scene; people don’t know,” Sheikh Gumi said.

The cleric said that while “there is no excuse for any crime; nothing can justify crime, and they are committing crime,” the bandits were forced into criminality.

“I think it is a population that is pushed by circumstances into criminality,” he said. “And this is what we should look, let’s remove the pressure, let’s remove the things that made them into criminals because we have lived thousands of years without any problems with the nomadic herdsmen. They are peaceful people. But something happened that led them to this.”

An Ethnic War

According to Gumi, the herdsmen-bandits are engaged in an ethnic war against other peoples, including sedentary Fulanis.

The solution, he added, was dialogue.

“It is a complex issue that Nigerians need to understand,” Sheikh Gumi said. “The solution is very simple, but it’s not military hardware. The solution is dialogue and teaching.

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi made an appearance on Channels TV's Politics Today on February 22, 2021.
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi made an appearance on Channels TV’s Politics Today on February 22, 2021.

 

“These people are acting with natural instincts, not special knowledge. And they don’t have any ambition or anything. They don’t have a vision of the future. They are talking about existence; their livelihood is destroyed; because the cattle rustling that was going on for a long time, they are the first victims of it.

“So we need to investigate how cattle rustling became a big business in Nigeria and how it affected the socio-cultural behaviour of the nomadic Fulani. They were pushed into criminality.”

‘Evil resides in Everyone’

Bandit attacks have heightened across Nigeria in the past year.

Last December, over 300 pupils were kidnapped from a boy’s secondary boarding school in Kankara, Katsina State.

Earlier this month, bandits stormed a science secondary school in Kagara, Niger State and kidnapped 41 pupils and staff. They are yet to regain their freedom.

Numerous killings have also been recorded during these bandit attacks.

But for every victim of kidnapping, these herdsmen-bandits have ten victims, Gumi said on the Monday program.

“They are killed by the military, lynched in town,” he added. “Do you know that there are situations where any man with this Fulani physique – slim, light-complexioned, even dark ones – on a motorbike is automatically arrested and incarcerated? They are being profiled.

“The Fulani herdsmen is seeing evil all around him. You can imagine when he sees his children, women, everything killed, his animals slaughtered.

“You see what happened in Oyo, his hut burnt down. Who is burning down his hut? It is somebody coming from a building, somebody coming from a car. He doesn’t own a car, he doesn’t own a building, he doesn’t enjoy anything of the Nigerian cake.

“Then you are coming, again, the little thing he has, to kill his animals. So he is seeing the evil from the other side. So each side is seeing the other’s side as evil.

“So it is the clergy that now has to come in the middle, Muslims and Christians. We have to listen to them. Demonising anybody is not appropriate. And evil is there in everybody.”

Sheikh Gumi restated his call for amnesty for victims of banditry and the herdsmen-bandits.

“Amnesty comes with a package – all victims should be looked at and the government should compensate because actually, it’s the responsibility of the government to protect people, their lives and livelihood; and they were not able to do,” he said. “So since it’s a negligence from the government, then the government should come from both sides.”

Bandits Kill Father And Son, Kidnap Nine Others In Kaduna

A file photo of a gun seized from crime suspects in Nigeria.

 

Bandits have killed a man and his son during an attack in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

According to the State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs,  Samuel Aruwan,  the bandits invaded Baka Village in Igabi local government on Saturday.

During the process, Aruwan said the gunmen attacked the residence of one Sale Musa and shot the man and his son, Amiru Musa to death.

The bandits had a week ago killed the brother of the late Sale, Dan’azumi and his son.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Security: Four Killed, One Injured In Kajuru LGA

According to the Commissioner, the bandits operating in groups, also abducted nine people,  mostly women and children.

He also said that troops based in the Sabon Birni general area were able to engage the bandits in a gun battle,  and succeeded in rescuing 13 captives from one of the bandit groups, while another group had earlier escaped with another set of hostages.

‘Not The Right Thing To Do’: Onaiyekan Condemns Negotiation With Bandits

 

Eminent cleric John Cardinal Onaiyekan on Saturday condemned dialogue with bandits and demanded that those in government should leave the stage if they can no longer secure the lives of the citizens.

Some State Governors and famous cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, have advocated for negotiations with bandits, who have captured the nation’s imagination with a spate of kidnappings and violent crimes.

But speaking in Minna, the Niger State capital, Onaiyekan said that is not the right thing to do.

READ ALSO: Sheikh Gumi Asks FG To Give Bandits ‘Blanket Amnesty’

“We should not be living in a country where you are always with your heart in your mouth when you are moving from one place to the other,” he said.

“We should not be living in a country where children cannot study in peace in their schools and where bandits – whatever you call them – from nowhere come and cart away 30, 40 children and their teachers into the bush. And then sit there somewhere and are boasting, calling for dialogue. And even government agencies talking about reaching out.

“That’s not the right thing to do. It is about time that we have a government which takes care of the people. This is not political. It has nothing to do with PDP, APC. And we have now seen, it has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity, not even with our tribal differences.

“We have a large gang of criminals that have almost taken over our country. The government should either do it or allow others to do it.”

Sheikh Gumi Asks FG To Give Bandits ‘Blanket Amnesty’

Sheikh Gumi (white beards) during a visit to Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello at the Government House in Minna, Niger State capital.

 

Popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, has called on the Federal Government to give bandits willing to make peace ‘blanket amnesty’ if the current security situation must be tackled.

The Islamic scholar disclosed this on Friday while addressing journalists in Minna, Niger State capital.

“The Federal government should give them blanket amnesty, then if somebody continues, then we will deal with them,” Sheik Gumi said while giving updates on the demands of the bandits.

This was after the cleric visited the camp of some bandits operating in Niger State.

He explained that some of the complaints of the bandits are that they were being killed and maimed unjustly.

“The outcome (of his visit) is very positive. We have many factions and each faction is saying I have complaints and grievances – we are persecuted, we are arrested, we are lynched -,” the cleric said, quoting the bandits.

READ ALSO: Kagara Abductions: We Are Committed To The Safe Rescue Of All Abductees – IGP

Speaking concerning his discussion during his secret visit to the bandits, Sheik Gumi said there is a positive response from the bandits who are holding the Kagara school students and their staff captive.

He, however, did not state if the students have been released.

Gumi’s comments come a few days after gunmen gained access to Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State around 2:00am and abducted scores of students, teachers, and many others.

The school principal who escaped from the attack confirmed to Channels Television that the gunmen came in military uniform and shot sporadically into the air. He said the operation started from the staff quarters where they abducted members of staff including a couple before they gained access to the students’ hostels.

One student was killed during the attack.

 

Targeted Institution

Kidnappers have in recent times targeted schools in the country. Less than three months ago, scores of students were abducted from the Government Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State. They were, however, released by their kidnappers after some days.

Niger State has in the past days seen a spike in kidnapping by gunmen.  A few days back, armed men attacked a bus belonging to the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) along Minna-Zungeru Road and abducted at least 21 passengers.

Schools have been the target of attacks in recent times in Nigeria.

Bandits: PDP Demands Immediate Sack Of Defence Minister For Asking Nigerians To Defend Themselves

PDP calls for sack of Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi

 

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands the immediate sack of the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, for abdicating his statutory duties in asking unarmed Nigerians to defend themselves against armed aggression by bandits and terrorists.

The party describes the statement by the minister as reckless, irresponsible, and a confirmation that the Buhari administration has surrendered to outlaws and has no determination to fight them.

“It is unthinkable that a government would describe unarmed victims of armed aggression of terrorists and bandits as “cowards” while those who were elected and given the necessary resources to defend them recede in the comfort and safety of their offices in Abuja.

“Such disposition to security; a statutory responsibility of government, goes to validate apprehensions that our nation is indeed descending to a failed state under the Buhari Presidency, where the government can no longer perform its duties while unarmed citizens are left to confront bandits and warlords.

“Given the silence by the Buhari Presidency, our party holds that the defeatist comment by the minister represents the disposition of President Muhammadu Buhari and his security architecture, and explains why the administration has remained complacent in the fight against terrorism and banditry in our country”.

The party noted that such a statement by the Buhari administration, at the time it ought to be scaling up its security strategies to guarantee the safety of all Nigerians, have been emboldening bandits, terrorists, and kidnappers to escalate their acts atrocities against our compatriots.

“Moreover, with such disposition, the Buhari administration is creating a lucrative job for bandits, terrorists, and kidnappers who are settled with huge ransom instead of being faced with firepower.

“Our party however urges Nigerians not to despair at this moment but brace up as it has become obvious that we are now in a despondent situation where the government has shown that it can no longer defend the citizens”.

Nigerians Should Not Be ‘Cowards’ When Attacked By Bandits – Defence Minister

 

The Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, says Nigerians should not show cowardice in the face of attacks from bandits.

Major General Magashi’s comment comes a few hours after armed men attacked Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, killing a student and abducting many others.

Speaking with newsmen after the screening of service chiefs by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Magashi said security is not the sole responsibility of the military, adding that Nigerians must join the fight against bandits and other miscreants threatening the nation’s peace.

Magashi who does not support the calls for legalization to have civilians bear firearms in the country, however, noted that citizens need to show that they are not afraid of bandits.

“Well, is it not the responsibility of the military alone? It is the responsibility of everybody to be alert and ensure safety when necessary.

“We shouldn’t be cowards. Sometimes the bandits come with about three rounds of ammunition and when they fire shots everybody will run. In our younger days, we stand to fight any form of aggression.

“Why should people run away from minor, minor aggressions? We should stand and face them. If these people know that the people have the competence and capability to defend themselves, they will run away,” the minister told newsmen.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Declare State Of Emergency, Senate Tells Buhari

In this photo, the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), briefs reporters at the National Assembly in Abuja on November 3, 2020.

 

Mr Magashi also assured Nigerians that all abducted students would be rescued as soon as possible.

He said the service chiefs would swing into action swiftly as to track down the kidnappers and rescue those who were abducted.

According to him, the government will replicate the strategy used in freeing the Kankara schoolboys to obtain success in freeing the Kagara students and staff.

The minister said: ”We have demonstrated our ability to take on the challenge. We have done it in Katsina; when children were kidnapped. Within two days, we got them back. Hopefully, this time, we will do the same (thing) to get these captives back. We are planning.

“We have not got feedback on the activities going on in Niger State. But I am sure that before the end of the day, we will be given a full brief on what is going on in Niger State.”

Kagara Abduction: I Call Them Terrorists Not Bandits – Niger Senator

The lawmaker representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Sani Musa

 

The lawmaker representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Sani Musa, has said the abductors of the students of Government Science College, Kagara, in Niger State, were terrorists and not bandits.

He stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.

“There is no presence of anybody but the bandits. I don’t call them bandits, I call them terrorists,” the lawmaker said.

“It has happened in Chibok, it has happened in Dapchi, it has happened in Kankara, it has happened in Kagara, we cannot guarantee where next, so, necessary steps have to be taken.”

Senator Musa also said that no one knows the next school or state bandits will attack in the country.

The lawmaker’s comments come hours after gunmen invaded the college, sot sporadically with one student feared killed and several others abducted.

Some teachers and their family members residing within the college staff quarters were also said to have been abducted by the gunmen.

Following the unfortunate incident, Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello,  ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the bandit-ravaged areas.

The Senate had also asked President Muhammadu Buhari  to declare a state of emergency on security without further delay.

Offer Amnesty To Repentant Bandits, Zamfara Senators Ask FG

Lawmakers during plenary at the Senate chamber in Abuja February 12, 2020. Photo: [email protected]

 

Zamfara State lawmakers in the National Assembly on Wednesday asked the Federal Government to offer amnesty to the repentant bandits in the North West.

Briefing journalists in the National Assembly, spokesperson for the group, Senator Sa’abi Yau said the government should offer amnesty to the repentant bandits because they are convinced that these repentant bandits should be encouraged to contribute positively to society.

He said their conviction comes on the heels of a similar success recorded in the Niger Delta when late President Umaru Yaradua granted amnesty to repentant militants.

Banditry has been on the increase in the northern states lately, with the latest happening in Niger State.

In the early hours of today, gunmen stormed Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of the state, killing one student ad abducting several others.

Channels Television gathered that the bandits wore a military uniform and entered the school premises which has about 1000 students, overpowered the security guard, before whisking away the students and staff.

Similarly, less than three months ago, scores of students were abducted from the Government Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State. They were, however, released by their kidnappers after some days.

 

Two Killed, Seven Children Injured In Kaduna

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

Bandits have killed two people in Kachia and Igabi local government areas of Kaduna State.

The killings come barely 24 hours after the state governors of the northwest zone held a meeting with the newly appointed service chiefs on how to end the spate of insecurity in the zone.

Confirming the incident, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the bandits attacked Akwando village in Kachia Local Government Area and killed one Elder Dikko Bagudu, a resident of the community.

In another incident, armed bandits barricaded the road from Sabon Birni to Rikau in Igabi local government area and killed one Ibrahim Abdulmumin, a resident of Rikau village, while One Sahabi Shafiu, son of the village head of Rikau, was also injured.

It was reported that both victims were returning from the weekly market at Sabon Birni when they were intercepted by the bandits.

In another development,  security agencies have reported the accidental detonation of a substance at a residence in Ungwan Mangworo of Igabi local government area.

According to the report, children playing in the area picked up the material from a nearby farm and began to play with it, not knowing what it was. In the process, it was accidentally detonated as the children continued to fiddle with it near their home.

Seven of the children were  injured by the explosion, and are now receiving treatment at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika.