Woman Who Gave Birth In Bandits’ Camp, 19 Other Victims Regain Freedom

Katsina State is in the north-west region of Nigeria.

 

At least 20 people abducted by bandits from Katoge village in Katsina State have regained their freedom.

The victims, comprising 10 women, eight girls, a boy, and a male adult, were abducted five months ago in Batsari Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

They took turns to narrate their ordeals while being held by bandits at their camp located on the fringes of the dreaded Rugu Forest.

Among those who spoke with reporters on Saturday at the Katsina Hajj Camp was a nursing mother, Sahura Haruna.

Sahura, who was kidnapped with an early pregnancy alongside others, said she was delivered of a baby girl while in captivity.

“The newborn baby was delivered five days ago (Monday) amid the trauma,” she said. “The health conditions of the baby and I are not too good because, after the medical check-up, the doctor said we lack adequate water in our body system.

“I almost slumped when I attempted to get up after I delivered my baby.”

Another victim identified as Rabiu Mannir narrated how they were able to escape from the den of the kidnappers.

He explained that a jet of the Nigerian Air Force flew over the bandits’ camp on Friday night – a development that put the criminals in a panic state.

According to Mannir, the bandits scampered to safety and left their victims behind while the abducted persons took advantage of the situation to escape.

Following their return, the Secretary to the Katsina State Government, Dr Mustapha Inuwa, handed them over to authorities of Batsari LGA.

He disclosed that the returnees were brought back by authorities in neighbouring Zamfara after they escaped, adding that some of them found themselves in the state.

Inuwa confirmed that the victims have been medically examined in Zamfara before being brought back to reunite with their families in Katsina.

Similarly in the north-west region, 10 additional students of the Bethel Baptist Secondary School abducted by bandits in Kaduna State have been released.

The students also regained their freedom on Saturday, after spending about 75 days in the custody of their abductors.

A total of 121 students were forcefully taken away from their hostels when bandits attacked the school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state on July 5.

The bandits later released the students in batches, but 21 others are still in the custody of the bandits.

Bandits Kill Two, Abduct Four In Sokoto

Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River
Sokoto State is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria.

 

Two persons have been killed while four others have been abducted by bandits who attacked Tangaza town in the northern district of Sokoto State on Friday.

According to residents in the area, the bandits attacked the town after the evening prayers and started shooting sporadically, killing a shop owner on the spot.

A young girl was also shot and was rushed to the hospital, but later died.

Three other persons who were injured are now said to be receiving treatment.

In the process of the attack, the bandits carted away foodstuffs and drinks.

According to residents, the timely intervention of security agencies alongside local vigilantes who rescued one of the kidnap victims helped in reducing the number of casualties.

About five children were kidnapped, while one was rescued after security personnel chased one of the bandits into the bush.

READ ALSO: Police Appeal For Calm In Sokoto As Suspected Bandits Send Threat Letter To Communities

Meanwhile, the Sokoto State Police Command PPRO, ASP Sanusi Abubakar confirmed the incident but maintained that only one person was killed and there was no abduction.

The attack comes a few days following reports that a threat letter was sent to some communities in Sokoto from suspected bandits.

In the letter written in the Hausa language, the said attackers mentioned five communities – Shuni, Kwanar Kimba, Rikina, and Dange, all in Dange/Shuni Local Government Area, causing panic among the residents.

Sokoto is one of the states in the North-West region that has recently come under attack by bandits who kidnap for ransom, rape, steal, and murder people.

Some other states such as Zamfara and Katsina, plagued with similar challenges, have taken up more stringent measures to curb the crime rate such as the shutting down of telecoms services and the closure of some markets and filling stations.

Bandits Kill Miyetti Allah Chairman In Kaduna 

A file photo of a man holding a gun.

 

The Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi has been killed by suspected bandits. 

The deceased, popularly known as Dambardi, was killed in the early hours of Friday in his village, Lere.

Police authorities in Kaduna State said they are aware of the matter, but are yet to get full details of the incident. 

MACBAN Chairman in the state, Haruna Usman, told Channels Television via telephone that the  bandits stormed the residence of the deceased at about 2am,  brought him out and demanded N20 million from him. 

READ ALSO: Security Agencies Winning The War Against Banditry – IGP

FG Ready To Listen To Bandits, Settle Them Without Cost – Minister

It was gathered that when Abdullahi told them that he does not have such an amount, the bandits insisted that he must raise the money or they would kill him. 

In the process, the late Abdullahi  took them to some butchers who raised only N250,000 for him.

Angered by  his failure to raise the N20 million as they demanded,  the bandits  immediately took him away to the Saminaka, Mariri- Zango highway and shot him to death.

While describing Abubakar Abdullahi’s death as a painful loss, the Miyetti Allah however,  appealed to the security agencies and the Kaduna State Government to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act with immediate effect.

Security Agencies Winning The War Against Banditry – IGP

 

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, says Nigeria’s security agencies are making headway in the fight against banditry.

He made the comment on Wednesday when he visited the Kwara Police Command in Ilorin.

“The police is not fighting alone,” the police chief explained. “All other security agencies, in synergy, are fighting the bandits, including the military, which is leading the war and we’re winning.”

According to the IGP, President Muhammadu Buhari has given approval for the recruitment of more police officers to boost the fight against crime in the country.

READ ALSO: FG Ready To Listen To Bandits, Settle Them Without Cost – Minister

‘Hope At End Of Tunnel’

File photo of Nigeria’s IGP, Usman Alkali Baba.

 

“The president has given approval for us to employ 10,000 [police personnel] every year for six years. We have started but we have not done so for 2020. So, we are doing [recruiting] for 2020 and 2021 between now and 2021 [year end]. Their training is for six months.

“So, we are expecting to increase our strength by 20,000, latest by the end of 2022,” he added.

While assuring the police operatives that their welfare will be taken care of, the IGP called on them to be dedicated to duty and show professionalism.

“I am here to tell you that there is no problem about the Nigerian police that I don’t know about. But there is hope at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

“Is it our welfare that we are not working on? We are working on our welfare. Is it the logistics to do the work? We are working on it. Is it our place of abode, accommodation? We are working on it!”

FG Ready To Listen To Bandits, Settle Them Without Cost – Minister

 

The Federal Government is willing to listen to repentant bandits and settle them without cost in a bid to find a lasting solution to the security threats in the north-west and north-central regions of the country.

Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, stated this on Tuesday in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“With all pleasure, anybody willing to surrender and do it honourably and honestly; the government is ready to listen. The government is ready to see what they can do to settle them down without much cost,” he said.

Dingyadi explained that the present administration intended to reintegrate repentant bandits into the larger society, saying the government would closely monitor those who have turned a new leaf to ensure they do not return to their old way of life.

He also spoke about the ongoing military operations against bandits in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and other states where their activities have been alarming.

 

‘When You Surrender’

According to the minister, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will continue to record successes against bandits as long as the security agencies continue to work in synergy.

A file photo of the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi.

 

On whether the window of amnesty was still open for bandits willing to surrender, he said, “When you talk of amnesty, it is a relative term and what the Federal Government is trying to say is that: ‘Let us see those who have surrendered their arms, let us listen to them, let us chronicle them, let us receive them’; we cannot just throw these people away because they are all Nigerians.

“Of course, they are criminals, they have committed atrocities, they have committed crimes, but according to the international laws, when you surrender from a war zone, you are not killed, you are not maimed, you are allowed to have your say.

“We are listening to them to see how we can integrate them into the larger society. What we are trying to do is to get them settled in their various communities, to let them have a kind of means of livelihood so that they can integrate peacefully and honourably into the society.”

Despite assurances by the government and security forces to end the menace of banditry, the criminal elements often attack in large numbers and arrive on motorbikes.

The armed forces have carried out operations and airstrikes on their camps, which are hidden deep in the forests that span Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Niger States, but violence has escalated.

Kidnapped Zamfara Students Regain Freedom

 

The kidnapped students of Government Day Secondary School, Kaya in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State have regained their freedom. 

After being released by their abductors, the students were received by Governor Bello Matawalle in Gusau, on Sunday.

Gunmen, believed to be bandits, had abducted the students from the school late in the night of September 1.

The Zamfara Police Command said afterward that 73 of the students were kidnapped from the school but five of them were freed a day later.

Sources in the community also told Channels Television that the assailants stormed the school in large numbers before taking the students to an unknown destination.

Zamfara State has witnessed several school abductions in recent months.

 

The incident is one of the several school abductions that have been reported in the North-Western state and other northern states battling attacks from bandits.

Other states in the region including Katsina and Kaduna, have had their fair share of attacks on schools.

‘Schools Must Be Safe’

Irked by the incessant assaults, the Zamfara State government introduced a string of measures including the recent shutdown of telecoms services, ban of sales of fuel in jerry cans among others to tackle the menace.

The Katsina State government has also taken tougher measures including banning commercial phone charging points in 18 of the hardest hit local government areas in the state.

International agencies say the attacks on schools is a drawback to education.

 

The attacks on schools is not only a source of concern for the Zamfara Government.

International bodies and rights groups have also decried the spate of assaults on schools.

Shortly after the abduction in Kaya, UNICEF raised the alarm over the abduction of students in the region and in the North-Central, saying the development is a threat to education.

Zamfara has taken a string of measures to tackle rising crime in the state.

 

“We reiterate that attacks on schools and abduction of learners are a gross violation of children’s rights, and a horrific experience for children to go through – one which could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and overall well-being,” UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, said in a statement.

“Schools must be safe; no child should experience any harm because they went to school, and no parent should come to grief for sending their children to learn.”

Police Appeal For Calm In Sokoto As Suspected Bandits Send Threat Letter To Communities

Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River
Sokoto State is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria.

 

 

The Police have called for calm in some communities in Sokoto State following reports that a threat letter was sent to them from suspected bandits.

Written in the Hausa language, the said attackers mentioned five communities – Shuni, Kwanar Kimba, Rikina, and Dange, all in Dange/Shuni Local Government Area, causing panic among the residents.

But the state Commissioner of Police, Kola Okunlola, in a statement on Sunday, assured members of the communities that the police are on the trail of those who wrote the letter.

Okunlola also said one person has been arrested and is helping the police with its investigations.

Read Also: One Killed As Gunmen Storm Taraba Community, Abduct Many

While urging residents to disregard the threats, the CP assured residents of their continued safety.

Sokoto is one of the states in the North-West region that has recently come under attack by bandits who kidnap for ransom, rape, steal, and murder people villages.

Last week, Governor Aminu Tambuwal invoked an executive order banning motorists from plying the Marnona/Issa Road linking the eastern part of the state.

According to the Commissioner for Information, Isa Bajini, the decision was to check the rising insecurity in the state.

Some other states such as Zamfara and Katsina, plagued with similar challenges, have taken up more stringent measures to curb the crime rate such as the shutting down of telecoms services and the closure of some markets and filling stations.

No More Amnesty For Bandits In Zamfara, Says Matawalle

A file photo of guns recovered from suspects by the police.

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, says his administration will no longer grant amnesty to bandits in the state.

He explained that the decision became necessary since the bandits have failed to embrace the peace initiative earlier extended to them by the state government.

Governor Matawalle stated this on Friday after attending the Jumat prayer at the Dalala Mosque in Gusau, the state capital.

READ ALSO: NCC Shuts Down All Telecom Sites In Zamfara

“They (bandits) sent a powerful committee to plead with us to cease fire and allow supply (of food and other essential commodities) but I refused,” said the governor who spoke in Hausa. “What we are doing to bandits is to send them to God, so they can answer their questions.”

He asked residents to be patient and support the new security measures put in place by the government to flush out bandits and their collaborators, for peace to reign in Zamfara.

According to the governor, bandits who are currently facing the heat of the superior fire of security operatives have sent some persons to inform him that they have repented.

He added that the criminals were ready for a dialogue over the security situation in Zamfara, but it was too late for them to have a rethink.

 

No More Dialogue

Governor Matawalle commended the security agencies for the successes recorded in the ongoing onslaught against the criminals in the state.

He revealed that some of the bandits were running out of Zamfara to other states, as a result of the suffering imposed by the new security measures introduced by the state government to cut off the supply of food, petrol, and other essential commodities to them in the bush.

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

The governor also challenged politicians to fear God and avoid buying motorcycles to distribute to people to sell to bandits, who use them to perpetrate their evil acts.

“Politicians distributing motorcycles must stop, we will not dialogue again, we’ll continue to deal and fight with the bandits,” he said.

Zamfara is one of the worst-hit states by banditry in the North West where armed men have abducted hundreds of schoolchildren.

The decision to stop pardoning bandits comes a week after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed telecommunications providers to shut down services in Zamfara for a period of two weeks.

NCC’s directive was to enable relevant security agencies carry out the required activities towards addressing the security challenges in the state, said a memo sent to one of the telecommunications providers.

The document dated September 3 and signed by the Vice-Chairman of the agency, Professor Umar Danbatta, added that the shutdown period would end on September 17.

How NDLEA Intercepted N6bn Insurgents’ Drugs In Lagos Port — Marwa

 

Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa on Wednesday said N6 billion worth of drugs meant for insurgents were intercepted by the agency.

Marwa, who spoke at a media briefing to update the public on the seizure, said loads of Captagon, a brand of Amphetamine were intercepted by operatives of the agency at the Apapa Port in Lagos State.

According to him, sometime in March 2021, the agency received intelligence from its international partners on the shipment of illicit narcotics to Nigeria from the Middle East through the Apapa Port.

The container passed through three countries and was trans-loaded in a North African country, but the NDLEA kept track of it along with its partners, he explained. 

READ ALSO: NYSC Member Nabbed As NDLEA Intercepts Drugged Candies From UK
“We made the first attempt to examine the container on Thursday, August 26, 2021, and what we found inside the container were three (3) pieces of marble polishing machines, otherwise called sanders,” he said while narrating how the seizure was made.

“Further scrutiny on Monday, August 31, with the NDLEA sniffer dogs turned up a positive indication on the rotor coil of one of the three machines. The next day, Wednesday, 1st September, 18,560 tablets of a drug suspected to be Amphetamine (Captagon) weighing 3.2kg was found deeply concealed in one of the coils.

“The following day, Thursday, September 2, the other two machines were dismantled, and in all, a total of 451, 807 tablets, weighing 74.119 kilograms, were discovered hidden inside their rotor coils.

“Going by the street value of about $25 per tablet, the importer would have raised $11.3million, which is equivalent to N6 billion.

“Imagine the impact of this drug in the hands of criminal gangs or a fraction of the profit from its sale being used to fuel criminalities across the country, we can think of our worst-case scenarios and they will still be farther from the repercussions that could be unleashed on the country.

“It may interest you to know that, as far as we know, this is the first time this drug is being brought into any African country South of the Sahara. This tiny, highly addictive pill, widely available across the Middle East, produces a euphoric intensity in users, allowing them to stay awake for days, making them fearless, predisposes them to reckless action that puts the lives of people around them in jeopardy.

“What should give any discerning Nigerian a nightmare concerning this drug is the fact that its production and sale is controlled by militias and large criminal groups in the Middle East. And beyond any doubt, Captagon has been linked to the escalation of the Syrian Civil War.

“A lot of seizures have been made since 2017, mostly in the Arabian Peninsula, and in Italy and Turkey, and the point of origination, almost all the time, were traced back to Syria and Lebanon. This gave rise to the theory that ISIS is behind the production and sale of Captagon as a means of generating funds for weapons and combatants, and for use as a stimulant to keep them fighting.

“Lest we forget, Captagon was the name of the drug found on the phone of the French-Tunisian terrorist who killed 84 civilians in France on Bastille Day in 2016. That is the drug we have on our hands now. If these facts are not grim enough, we should all remember a lesson from history, when in World War Two, Nazi Germany wreaked havoc across Europe with chemically-enhanced soldiers that the combined forces of Europe could not tame.

“This is the same condition we have presently with insurgents, bandits, cultists, robbers, kidnappers and herders spilling rampaging across the country. 

“Given the dark and dangerous background of Captagon, it is not difficult to guess correctly that the destination for the seized drug is none other than the camps of insurgents and bandits all over the country.”

Marwa condemned the intent of those behind the importation of the illicit substance into the country at a very critical time when the nation is facing some security challenges.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA vowed that the agency would not rest until everyone connected to the consignment was arrested and prosecuted.

Mr Marwa assured Nigerians that the agency would continue to work with support from local and international partners to block availability and access to  illicit substances across the country.

He added that the NDLEA’s zero tolerance for production, trafficking and abuse of any illicit substance shows that the agency’s approach to this discovery was not casual.

Bandits Kill Police Officer, Abduct 23 Others In Kaduna

A combination of file photos of the map of Kaduna State and a gun recovered from crime suspects.

 

 

A police officer has been killed with 23 others abducted when bandits attacked Ungwan Maje and Ungwan Laka villages in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The bandits stormed the villages in the early hours of Wednesday and opened fire on the residents who were still sleeping at that time.

Eyewitnesses told Channels Television that the gunmen first attacked Ungwan Maje where they abducted 16 persons, majorly women and children.

They later proceeded to the Ungwan Laka community where they killed a mobile police officer identified as Joshua Markus.

READ ALSO: Police Nab Kidnappers Who Killed Father Of Ex-Plateau Governor

It was gathered that the slain officer was on a visit to his family from the Rivers State Command where he was serving.

The bandits thereafter kidnapped the wife and daughter of the deceased.

The spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mohammed Jalige, also confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

He said security operatives were on the trail of the bandits with a view to arresting them and rescuing the kidnapped victims.

With Hindsight, I Wouldn’t Have Granted Bandits Amnesty – Masari

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari

 

Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari says with the recent activities of bandits and information now at his disposal, he wouldn’t have granted amnesty to bandits as he did years back.

The governor in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today insists that he doesn’t regret his action but previous efforts in 2016 and 2019 have obviously not yielded any positive result.

“I don’t regret it, the only thing I say is with the benefits of hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it. Because at that time when we started in 2016, there were leaders but gradually all the leaders were eliminated, that was the failure of the first round,” the governor said.

“The second round after the 2019 election didn’t see the light of the day. We tried but then we realised that, ‘who are you talking to?’ They are not under the same umbrella. They are not pushing for any religious belief. They are just bandits, criminals, and thieves.”

READ ALSO:

Gunmen Kidnap Wife, Children Of Katsina Lawmaker

Gunmen Strike Again In Katsina, Abduct Village Head’s Four Children

He stressed that bandits posed great danger to society as their mission is to steal and kill and therefore they should be treated as criminals.

“The reality is, there is nobody in the forest that can discuss peace. For me, anybody in the forest is a potential criminal, so I think it should be dealt with as such,” he added.

Also, during the interview, the governor hinted that his administration is considering banning open grazing in the state.

He, however, said that before a law banning (cattle) roaming is enacted, provisions would be made for where the animals would stay.

 

Tackling Banditry

Earlier on Monday, the Governor inaugurated a committee charged with monitoring and enforcing the recently introduced executive order in the state and announced a ban on commercial charging of phones.

This according to the governor is part of efforts to tackle insecurity.

Governor Masari believes that the latest measure, coupled with further collaborations with the Federal Ministry of Communications will drastically reduce the menace of banditry in the north-western state.

“The latest instruction that we gave out is the closure of all commercial charging points in the most affected local government areas. Commercial charging, we believe, is also an area which is helping the bandits to acquire means of communication,” he said.

Katsina is one of the states hit the most by the activities of bandits. Over the months, many residents, especially in villages, have been attacked, kidnapped or killed.

Over the weekend, the younger sister of the Deputy Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly, Dalhatu Tafoki was kidnapped.

Also in the early hours of Monday, gunmen stormed Sabuwar Kasa village in Kafur Local Government Area and took away four children of the Village Head.

Gunmen Kidnap Wife, Children Of Katsina Lawmaker

A file photo of a man carrying a gun.

 

Bandits have reportedly kidnapped the wife and two children of the lawmaker representing Bakori Constituency in the Katsina State House of Assembly, Dr. Ibrahim Kurami.

The bandits, according to a resident, stormed the country house of the lawmaker located at Kurami village in Bakori Local Government of Area of the state at about 9:00 pm on Saturday after the Muslim night prayers.

The resident who pleaded anonymity, explained that on arrival, the hoodlums first shot at a member of the First Aid Group of Islam who they met at the entrance.

The victim who sustained injuries from the gunshots was later rushed to a medical facility for treatment.

At the time of the incident, the lawmaker was away, participating in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Local Government Congress in his council.

Spokesman for the Katsina Police Command, SP Gambo Isah in a telephone conversation with Channels Television on Sunday promised to comment on the incident after getting details from the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Bakori council.

Meanwhile, a senior security agent in the state told Channels Television that rescue operations for the abducted victims are ongoing as operatives have been mobilised to the scene of the incident and the council environs.