Bandits Write Nine Zamfara Communities, Demand Levies

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Terrorists have written to nine communities within the Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State, asking them to pay levies or face deadly attacks.

The communities, which were sent letters include, Wawan Icce Salihu, Wawan Icce Ibrahim, Gangara, Gande, Tungar Gebe, Galle, Nan Narki, Ruwan Kura, and Yar Galma all in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

In their reaction to the development, the police command in the state said the alleged levy imposed by bandits on the nine communities is an old issue.

Police spokesperson, SP Mohammed Shehu, told Channels Television that the issue occurred about a month ago, adding that the police command has since taken action by deploying security personnel to those areas.

Read Also: [VIDEO] Bandits Killed Over 200, Invaded 300 Niger Communities In 17 Days – Governor

“It is an old issue and it has been treated for long,” Shehu stressed.

A youth leader in the area, Abubakar Gero, also told Channels TV that the letter was sent to the district head about a month ago, noting that some of the affected communities are still gathering money to pay the bandits so as to avoid being attacked.

“It is not recent, you know the communities are at alert, some of them did not pay and they are in the process of paying. The district head received the letter on the 27th December 2021,” he added.

The letters seen by Channels Television were written in the Hausa language and addressed to the different communities.

Each of the letters had the name of the community at the top and the money expected to pay.

There were also mobile phone numbers written on the letters. All the letters bore the same contents except the title of the town and the amount the bandits are demanding.

Below is a list of the communities and the monies expected from each one of them:

“Wawan Icce Ibrahim (N4,000,000); Wawan Icce Salihu (N2,000,000); Gaude (N1,000,000); Galle (N1,000,000); and Tungar Gebe (N500,000).
Others include Nan Narki and Ruwan Kura (N5,000,000 each), Gangara (N1.5 million) while Yar Galma is expected to pay (N5,000,000).

Despite claims by police that the letters are old, a source from one of the communities, Umar Abdullahi, said some of the towns have paid the levies while others are yet to pay the bandits.

“I can confirm to you that some of the mentioned communities have paid the levy except Yar Galma village and others where I don’t have any source of information in the community,” Abdullahi stated.

The source’s claim was further confirmed by Abubakar Gero, a resident and one of the youth leaders in Bukkuyum. He said it is true that payments have been made. He, however, said he could not precisely disclose the names of the communities that have paid.

Bandits Kill Three Policemen And Two Vigilante In Niger

Niger State is in northcentral Nigeria.

 

The Niger State Police Command has confirmed the killing of three police personnel and two vigilantes in a fierce gun battle with armed bandits in Kwanar- Dutse, Mariga Local Government.

In a statement issued by police spokesman, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, the Niger State Command, said it received information regarding the movements of bandits along Bangi- Mangoro road in Mariga.

Read Also: [VIDEO] Bandits Killed Over 200, Invaded 300 Niger Communities In 17 Days – Governor

According to DSP Abiodun, the command immediately mobilized tactical teams and vigilantes attached to Bangi Division to the area where the criminals were then engaged in a fierce gun battle at Kwanar- Dutse.

He added that three policemen and two vigilante members lost their lives during the gunfight, noting, however, that scores of bandits were neutralized while others escaped into the forest with bullet injuries.

DSP Abiodun further stated that the Commissioner of Police, CP Bala Kuryas has reassured members of the public of the command’s determination not to relent in the ongoing onslaught against banditry and other criminality in the State.

According to the statement, the commissioner also solicits for more cooperation and support from the people, stressing that it is only with the support of the citizens that the fight against banditry can be won.

Niger Communities Still Paying Levies To Bandits, Governor Bello Laments

 

Residents of some communities in Niger have continued to pay levies to terrorists in exchange for protection against attacks on their settlements, authorities in the state have said.

Governor Abubakar Bello, who stated this on Tuesday shortly after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa in Abuja, lamented that such payments were not enough to stop the attacks.

Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting with the President, he said the state government has appealed to the residents of the affected communities not to pay any money to the terrorists.

READ ALSO: Yellow Buses, Cabs, Others To Pay N800 Levy From February – Lagos Govt

“We still have some communities where ransoms are being collected,” the governor said. “We will try to discourage them (residents) from paying such ransoms because even when they pay ransoms, it doesn’t stop bandits from attacking them again.

“When you pay levies to bandits, they use such money to purchase weapons and they come back to attack you.”

 

Governor Abubakar Bello

 

The governor, however, called for the massive recruitment of security personnel and deployment to the state in order to bring the situation under control.

He admitted that there were serious concerns about sustaining the fight against the terrorist group, stressing that informants within the communities constitute a major challenge.

Governor Bello also urged states sharing borders with Niger, including Kebbi and Kaduna to collaborate with his administration to ensure sustainability in the fight against criminals in their domains.

But he is optimistic that with the current level of intervention, temporary respite would come to residents of the affected communities in two weeks.

“This afternoon, I came to visit Mr President to give him an update on the security situation in Niger State with regard to banditry, kidnapping, and cattle rustling among others,” the governor briefed.

“We had a very fruitful discussion. We were able to review some of the invasions in the state. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you all. In the last few days, there have been a lot of activities in Niger State and hopefully, in the next few weeks, we will see some relief with regard to banditry.”

VIDEO: Bandits Killed Over 200, Invaded 300 Niger Communities In 17 Days – Governor

 

No fewer than 200 people, including security operatives, have been killed in various attacks by bandits on communities in Niger State this month alone.

The state governor, Abubakar Bello, disclosed this on Tuesday shortly after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa in Abuja.

He stated that the criminals who have been proscribed as terrorists by the Federal Government also invaded hundreds of communities and abducted scores of residents.

“In January alone this year, we suffered not less than 50 reported attacks and loss of lives between 1st and 17th January,” the governor told State House correspondents in the nation’s capital. “Within the same period, not less than 300 communities have been invaded by bandits.

“The number of people kidnapped is 200, including three Chinese nationals. We also lost some security personnel – their number is 25. Unfortunately, we lost about 165 civilians and 30 local vigilantes. So, it’s a very dire situation that we have been battling in the last few weeks since the beginning of this year.”

READ ALSO: Yellow Buses, Cabs, Others To Pay N800 Levy From February – Lagos Govt

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, briefs State House correspondents at the Aso Villa in Abuja on January 18, 2022.

 

He lamented that residents of some communities in the state have continued to pay ransoms to terrorists in exchange for protection against attacks on their settlements.

Stressing that such payments were not enough to stop the attacks, he appealed to the people of the affected communities not to pay any money to the terrorists.

Governor Bello called for the massive recruitment of security personnel and deployment to the state in order to bring the situation under control.

Although he admitted that there were serious concerns about sustaining the fight against the terrorist group, he is optimistic that respite would come to residents of the affected communities in two weeks, with the current level of intervention.

But the governor stated that informants within the communities constitute a major challenge and urged states sharing borders with Niger, including Kebbi and Kaduna to come together in the fight against the criminals.

“We still have some communities where ransoms are being collected,” he said. “We will try to discourage them (residents) from paying such ransoms because even when they pay ransoms, it doesn’t stop bandits from attacking them again.

“When you pay levies to bandits, they use such money to purchase weapons and they come back to attack you.”

Police Foil Kidnap Of 16 Victims In Kaduna – Spokesperson

A file photo of policemen.

 

The Kaduna State Police Command has foiled the kidnap of 16 victims in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state. 

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mohammed Jalige, disclosed this via a statement issued on Monday.

According to him, bandits tried to kidnap the victims in the Masallaci area along Birnin Gwari road.

Upon receiving information about the incident, Jalinge said the Divisional Police Officer of Buruku,  immediately mobilised personnel on a rescue mission to the area.

READ ALSO: Attackers Must Not Live To Tell The Story, Aregbesola Tells Prisons Officers

The police spokesman explained that the bandits on sighting the advancing troops immediately took to their heels leaving behind the victims whom the operatives successfully rescued.

“The above success recorded by the Command is not unconnected with the community participation and vigilance cum prompt reportage to the security agencies thus, the Command is urging other communities to emulate same in a bit to secure our respective communities from criminal elements,” the police spokesman said.

Kaduna Security: Troops Neutralize Three Terrorists, Recover Arms

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

 

Troops of the Nigerian military have neutralized three notorious terrorists who have been terrorising residents of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state, a government official said on Saturday.

A statement by the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said the bandits were neutralized during a gun duel with the military personnel who were on patrol along the Telele-Sabon Gida road in Chikun LGA.

The troops laid an ambush at a suspected terrorist rallying point on the route and as expected the criminals approached the troops’ position and entered the killing range, after which they were vigorously engaged, the statement said.

READ ALSO: NEMA Donates Food, Other Items To Victims Of Yobe Fire

Mr Aruwan’s statement added that the criminals returned fire but were overpowered by the troops after a brief firefight, resulting in the death of three terrorists.

Mr Aruwan also said that three AK47 rifles, magazines, two motorcycles
and two mobile phones were recovered from the terrorists during the operation.

Kaduna State is one of the worst states affected attacks carried out by bandits, who have been designated as terrorists by the Federal Government.

Recent attacks by some bandit groups have also been recorded in Zamfara State.

Killings: FG Delegation Visits Zamfara To Sympathise With State Govt, People

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

A Federal Government delegation has arrived in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital to sympathise with the government and people of the state over the recent bandits’ attack.

Last week, bandits raided some villages in Bukkuyum and Anka local government areas of Zamfara and killed over 58 people, dealing a heavy blow to authorities struggling to restore order.

The delegation was led by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), his counterpart in the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry, Sadiya Umar Farouq and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

READ ALSO: Zamfara Killings: APC Governors Visit Matawalle

Others include the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.

This is coming a few hours after the governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) visited Zamfara State Governor, Zamfara, Killings over the recent killings in the state.

Governor Atiku Bagudu and his Katsina State counterpart, Aminu Masari were in the state to commiserate with the government and people of the state.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Government House in Gusau, Governor Bagudu said that despite some positives by the federal and state governments, massive cooperation is vital to combat the threat.

Bagudu stated that in the last few years, a lot is being done to address the security challenges facing the country, and more resources, community mobilisation, support is still needed to flush out the terrorists.

Zamfara Killings: APC Governors Visit Matawalle

 

The governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have visited Zamfara State Governor, Zamfara, Killings over the recent killings in the state.

Last week, bandits raided some villages in Bukkuyum and Anka local government areas of Zamfara and killed over 58 people, dealing a heavy blow to authorities struggling to restore order.

According to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, more than 10,000 people were displaced in the attack with scores still missing.

A few days after the incident, Governor Atiku Bagudu and his Katsina State counterpart, Aminu Masari were in the state to commiserate with the government and people of the state.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Government House in Gusau, Governor Bagudu said that despite some positives by the federal and state governments, massive cooperation is vital to combat the threat.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct Another Zamfara College Official In Gusau

Bagudu stated that in the last few years, a lot is being done to address the security challenges facing the country, and more resources, community mobilisation, support is still needed to flush out the terrorists.

Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu leads other governors on a condolence visit to Zamfara State on January 12, 2022.

 

In his remarks, Governor Masari observed that the efforts and commitment of the government towards tackling banditry must be complemented with the support of the people through the provision of credible intelligence to authorities to help fish out the perpetrators of criminality.

“We are all in this together, nobody is left out. We must conquer, reclaim our territories,” the Katsina Governor said.

“We have no choice, we must stand up. We need to mobilise ourselves and cannot allow some few individuals to totally disrupt our own lives, kill us, destroy our economic fortunes.”

On his part, the host governor said his administration will not rest on its oars to stop the incessant attacks on residents and ensure peace returns to Zamfara State.

“We will continue to do everything within our powers to achieve our objective of restoring peace in our domain,” he said.

Matawalle said that the military campaign against the bandits is already yielding positive results in the north-western state.

Bandits In North West Have Become State Within State – Shehu Sani

 

A member of the 8th Senate from Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani, says bandits have become a state within a state in the north-western part of the country.

Senator Sani raised the alarm during an interview on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm on Tuesday.

“Virtually now, bandits in the North West have become a state within a state,” he said. “They have been able to establish governance structure in the sense that they don’t just kidnap and extort money,  it has reached a point where they even install.

“According to reports, they install traditional rulers and imams.”

READ ALSO: NIMC Debunks Report Of Server Breach, Assures Nigerians Of Data Protection

Bandits have continued to unleash mayhem in Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, and Niger among other northern states, killing many people and kidnapping hundreds of others.

The former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central in the 8th National Assembly, Senator Shehu Sani, speaks on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm on January 11, 2022.

 

The latest in the string of attacks was the incident in Zamfara where marauding gunmen killed scores of people.

Despite the Federal Government designating them as terrorists, the bandits seem to have intensified operations, although security agencies have given assurances of rooting them out.

While asking authorities to step up efforts against the criminals, Senator Sani believes more should be done by the government to secure the lives and properties of the people.

“This is not just happening in the Mars, Neptune, Jupiter, or Venus; this is happening in the state of the President (Katsina),” he alarmed. “Bandits have become an authority – they kill those they want to kill, they preserve those whom they want to preserve.

“In the states of Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Niger, large squat of land is virtually under the control of these bandits.”

According to the former lawmaker, the recent attacks on several villages in Zamfara were in response to the military campaign launched against the bandits.

He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to contact his old friends and neighbours to get the information on the ground.

“President Buhari should spare time, go through his old logbook, look at the numbers of those his old friends and people he has lost touch with in the last four to seven years, call them and ask what is going on,” said Senator Sani.

Kaduna Security: Troops Foil Attack, Neutralize Five Terrorists In Giwa LGA

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

 

Troops of the Nigerian military have neutralized five terrorists in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

According to a statement on Monday by the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the terrorists were neutralized after the troops foiled an attack by the terrorists in Kwanan Bataro community of Giwa local government area.

According to the operational feedback, the troops who were conducting clearance patrols in Giwa LGA received credible intelligence of terrorists’ movement towards Fatika town, and immediately, they mobilised to Marke and Ruheya in response.

He explained that the outlawed gang were sighted and attempted to escape the advancing forces.

The troops, however, cut off their escape route at Kwanan Bataro and engaged the terrorists in a firefight, during which five of them were neutralized.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i has expressed satisfaction with the operational feedback, and commended the troops for their proactive and sharp response to the intelligence received.

He encouraged them to keep up the intensity in the ongoing offensives against terrorists in the area.

30 Students, Teacher Regain Freedom In Kebbi After Six Months  

A screengrab showing a part of the school in Kebbi State.

 

Thirty abducted students of Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri in Kebbi State and a teacher have regained their freedom after spending six months in captivity.

Yahaya Sarki, the Special Adviser on Media to Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, confirmed the release via a statement issued on Saturday.

Channels Television had reported how the victims, whose total number is yet to be disclosed, were kidnapped by bandits on June 17, 2021, a situation that led to the death of a police officer.

Two weeks after, two out of the abducted students were freed, although it is not clear if any ransom was paid to secure the release of the students.

READ ALSO: Nothing Can Separate This Country – Osinbajo

But the governor’s spokesman said the released victims would undergo medical screening before being handed over to their respective families.

“Today, Saturday 8th January 2022, 30 students of Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, and one teacher have arrived Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State capital, following their release.

“They shall undergo medical screening and support while being re-united with their families,” the statement partly read.

Sarki then thanked security agencies and congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for the release.

“We thank all security agencies and those who have helped in securing the release, while congratulating Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari, for the success,” he said.

Thousands of people were killed or kidnapped in Kebbi and other North-west states last year.

The attacks, by terror groups operating as bandits, have continued despite the efforts of security agencies.

Bandit Attacks In Zamfara ‘An Act Of Desperation’ – President Buhari

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday reacted to the latest bandit killings recorded in Zamfara State.

He described the action of the bandits as an “act of desperation.”

Government sources said at least 58 persons were killed in the attacks which began on Wednesday and lasted for about 48 hours.

READ ALSO: At Least 58 Killed, Four Villages Burnt In Latest Zamfara Bandit Attacks

Some unofficial estimates put the toll at about 200.

“The latest attacks on innocent people by escaping bandits in Zamfara is an act of desperation by mass murderers, who are now under relentless pressure from our military forces who are well equipped to effectively confront these enemies of humanity,” the President said in a statement on Saturday.

“In keeping with my commitment to tackle the monster of terrorism head-on, let me reassure these besieged communities and other Nigerians that this government will not abandon them to their fate because we are more than ever determined to get rid of these outlaws.

“These criminals will be history because we are not going to relent in our current military operations to get rid of these thugs who have been terrorising innocent people.

“I appeal for patience from the affected communities, even as I extend our deepest condolences to the survivors and the families of those killed. We are fiercely determined to smoke out and destroy these outlaws who have no regard for the sanctity of life.

“HQ Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force HQ are working together to get rid of these callous criminals. We are acquiring more equipment to track down and eliminate all the criminal gangs that are subjecting innocent people to the reign of terror, including illegal imposition of taxes on the communities under siege.”