No fewer than 21 people including 17 family members have been abducted by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state.
The victims were abducted between Friday and Saturday morning at the Udawa community in Chikun LGA.
When contacted for confirmation, the Kaduna State Police command through the Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Jalige said that they are not aware of the incident as none of such has been brought to their notice.
However, a community leader told channels television that the gunmen first stormed the area in large numbers on Friday and started shooting sporadically, and in the process, injured several people.
He said that while four others were kidnapped on Friday, while 17 members of the same family were abducted on Saturday morning while they were going to their farm.
The community leader also disclosed that four other people who escaped during the operation were rushed to the hospital for treatment as a result of the injuries they sustained while trying to escape from the kidnappers.
Gunmen suspected to be bandits have attacked the First Bank branch in Kagara, a community in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
Eyewitnesses said scores of armed men riding on motorcycles stormed the area at about 6pm on Wednesday and started shooting into the air before heading for the bank.
They added that many residents in the area sustained varying degrees of injury from gunshots and a yet-to-be-ascertained number of people were feared killed.
A traditional title holder in Kagara told Channels Television that members of the local vigilante group in the area had attempted to combat the assailants, but they were overpowered by the gunmen.
He started hearing the gunshots a short while after returning home, initially believing they were from the vigilante group in the area.
But when the shots persisted he suspected something was amiss. A phone call he received not long after confirmed what was going on.
Asked about the reaction of the police to the attack, and the situation around 8pm, he said, “The personnel we have cannot confront them (the attackers) as a matter of fact. Apart from the fact that they are many, they have more weapons.”
In addition to the firepower the attackers had, he said they positioned themselves in strategic locations and acted in an organised manner.
The source said details about the casualty figures were not clear but they were casualties on both side.
“I think one (of the attackers) was even captured alive,” he said. “I know of four people that were shot but not fatally… one on the arm, one on the leg, but the other two, I can’t tell where they were shot.”
He said a fighter jet from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had helped to repel the attack.
“When it started, we made some calls and an Air Force jet came. So that rattled them,” he said. If we have been having this kind of support as we have with the Air Force, I am telling you this thing (the attacks) would be a thing of the past.”
A message from a missionary in the area during the attack said a police station was also attacked.
“Sir, this evening at 6pm, bandits attacked Kagara town, killed six people in the bank, and attacked a police station.
“Please pray and ask our brethren to also pray for us. My family is in the bush now,” the message read.
It is unclear how much was stolen from the bank by the attackers and efforts to speak with the police authorities in Niger were unsuccessful.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Wasiu, did not pick his calls or respond to messages sent to his phone.
In recent times, Kagara and many other communities in Rafi LGA have come under serious security threats by bandits.
Gunmen have kidnapped Dr Olufemi Adeogun, the Chief Medical Director of the General Hospital at Idoani town in Ondo State.
Dr Adeogun was abducted at gunpoint along with two other persons with him in his vehicle on Monday night.
The incident occurred around Owani along the Idoani Road in Ose Local Government Area of the state.
They were said to be on their way to Owo town before they were accosted by the armed men who took them away to an undisclosed location.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Tuesday.
He, however, noted that men of the command have since swung into action, combing the nearby bush and the entire vicinity to rescue the victims.
Ikoro believes with the prompt action of the security operatives, the victims would soon be rescued and the kidnappers would be apprehended and brought to justice.
Medical Doctors Protest
Elsewhere, in Cross River State, some medical doctors embarked on a peaceful protest on Tuesday over the kidnap of their colleague, Dr Vivien Otu, a paediatrician and a staff of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).
They took to the streets of the state capital carrying placards with inscriptions such as “Why Always Doctors?”, and “Release Doctor Vivienne Otu”, among others, and vowed to down tools until their abducted colleague was released.
The State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Innocent Abang, decried that medical doctors have now become endangered people as a result of the incessant kidnap of their colleagues.
“This is a doctor that would stand on her feet and make sure other people’s children survive, this is a doctor that would pull out her money to buy drugs for helpless children.
“Today, that is the reward she gets for saving lives in Cross River State; the reward is for her to be kidnapped and tormented,” he lamented.
In its reaction, the Cross River State government promised to ensure that Dr Vivien and others kidnapped were rescued by the security agencies.
A policeman and an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been abducted by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers in Kaduna State.
The two security operatives were kidnapped from their residences at Maraban Rido in Chikun Local Government Area of the state in the late hours of Thursday.
A 14-year-old girl and one other person were also whisked away by the abductors during the operation.
The gunmen were said to have invaded the community at about midnight and went straight to some houses, shooting sporadically, and later took their victims away.
Although police authorities in the state are yet to confirm the abduction of its personnel, the spokesman of NSCDC, Kaduna State Command, Orndiir Terzungwe, however, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.
He explained that the Civil Defence officer was abducted by the gunmen from his home and taken to an unknown destination.
Terzungwe disclosed that the command has launched a manhunt of the kidnappers with a view to rescuing the officer and arresting the kidnappers.
The attack comes four days after gunmen abducted an unconfirmed number of students from a school in Kaduna State.
Channels Television learned that the incident took place on August 24, 2020 at Prince Academy in Samba-Kasaya, a village around Buruku area in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
Those kidnapped are said to be some JSS 3 students who are preparing for the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) before the armed men invaded the school at about 7am and took them away.
Although the police authorities had yet to confirm the incident as at the time of filing the report, a security source in the area said a member of a local group in the village was shot dead by the gunmen while some villagers were also abducted along with the students.
The source also disclosed that troops of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies have begun a manhunt of the kidnappers with a view to rescuing the victims and bringing the culprits to justice.
Monday’s attack comes a week after the state government announced that JSS3 students in the state would resume classes on August 16 and 17.
The Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Education, Phoebe Yayi, had explained in a statement that the government approved the resumption dates to allow the students prepare for the BECE which commenced on August 24.
She noted that all school principals were directed to make arrangements to receive the students, in line with the COVID-19 regulations of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Proprietors of private schools were also asked to comply accordingly through the Kaduna State Schools Quality Assurance Authority and ensure proper arrangements for safe transportation of their students to and from schools.
The Oyo State Police Command says it has mobilised tactical teams to unravel the mystery behind the shooting of some police officers attached to Ikolaba Police Station at New Bodija, Ibadan.
According to a press release on Saturday signed by the Command’s spokesman, Gbenga Fadeyi, who confirmed the attack to Channels Television, a corporal, Dada Christopher, was killed and another officer, Busuyi Ayodele, sustained injuries after gunmen attacked the station on Friday night.
The station guard’s AK-47 rifle was also taken away by the attackers.
The police, three officers on duty were standing in front of the Station around 9 pm when the gunmen, in a yet-to-be-identified car, opened fire on them with locally made guns, the statement said.
One police officer escaped, the statement said, while two were shot.
Eyewitnesses accounts of residents around the area attested to a possible gun battle.
“I really do not know what happened,” one eyewitness who identified himself as Ezekiel said. “I was at my brother’s house when I heard gunshots. I thought it was a tire that busted, but I learned this morning that it was gunshots. I heard that some robbers probably came to attack the station, but I did not see them.”
According to the police, a manhunt is ongoing to arrest those responsible for the action.
Unknown gunmen on Friday attacked a police station at Ikolaba residential area in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Confirming the attack, the Police Public Relations Officer, Oyo state command, Gbenga Fadeyi told Channels Television during a phone conversation that he got wind of the attack around 9pm and was not sure of the level of damage yet.
Fadeyi added that the Ikolaba police station has been fortified by a tactical team while investigations are ongoing .
The motive of the gunmen is yet to be ascertained but there are unconfirmed reports that a policeman was killed in the ensuing shootout with the police.
Eleven people have reportedly been killed and many injured in a fresh attack by gunmen between Monday and Wednesday at Ungwar Gankon village in Zango Kataf and Maro village, Kajuru Local Government Areas (LGA) of Kaduna state.
The attack comes barely one week after the Defence headquarters deployed Special Forces from the Nigerian Airforce and Army to southern Kaduna in an effort to curb the spate of killings in the volatile region.
Although the police authorities are yet to confirm the incident, the Chairman of Zango Kataf Local Government, Elias Manza told Channels Television that the attack was a revenge action by suspected Fulani militia who invaded Ungwan Gankon community on Tuesday night and started shooting sporadically, killing two persons in the process and injuring many others.
He also said that eight houses were burnt by the attackers while the villagers have fled from the community for fear of a reprisal attack.
The Chairman also disclosed that the Special Forces of the Nigerian Army and Air Force have arrived in some of the vulnerable communities in an effort to protect the residents from being attacked by the bandits.
The Chairman of Kajuru local government, Cafra Caino, also confirmed that gunmen killed four people who were traveling in a commercial vehicle at Maro village, a border between Kajuru and Kachia local government areas.
He explained that the gunmen intercepted the commercial vehicle from the bush in the afternoon, shot four of the occupants to death including a pastor, and later took the driver away to an unknown destination.
The gunmen carried out similar attacks at Bugai village near Banikanwa in Kachia local government on Monday night, and killed five people including the village head and his mother, while several others were injured.
Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has called for an end to killings in the country which they linked to the security challenges during the 1967-1970 civil war.
ACF in a statement by its Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbeh after its meeting in the state, expressed concern that the north which has about 78 of Nigeria’s landmass, is faced with such magnitude of insecurity in the region.
While attributing the high level of insecurity in the north to unemployment, poverty, and non-inclusion of the youths in governance, ACF called on the state and federal governments as well as religious and traditional leaders to take practical steps to address the security and economic challenges confronting the region.
The ACF advised state governments from the northern region to pay adequate attention to agriculture which offers more opportunities for diversification and the development of a more sustainable economy for the region and the country at large.
At least 9 persons, including 3 personnel of the Nigerian Military were reportedly killed following an attack by gunmen in Tashan Kare and Yakila communities in Rafi local government area of Niger State.
Efforts to speak with the Police in the state proved abortive as the Police Public Relations Officer, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Wasiu Abiodun did not respond to his calls and text messages.
But, a statement by the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche published on the website of the Defense Headquarters, said troops of Operation Whirl Punch engaged the bandits in a gun duel in which an unspecified number of the bandits were killed; however, three soldiers were killed, and two others wounded.
According to Major General Enenche, “In continuation of the aggressive clearance operation to rid criminal elements out of the North-Central region of the country, troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH, has recorded tremendous success against armed bandits. Following credible intelligence on the activities of armed bandits attack at Tashan Kare, in Niger State.
“Troops swiftly mobilized to the scene and made contact with the bandits. The gallant troops engaged the armed bandits with superior fire power killing unspecified number while others fled in disarray into the bushes.
“Sadly own troops suffered 3 casualties while 2 others were wounded in action. Exploitation is on going. Details to follow.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Niger State, Adamu Usman only confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria the abduction of a Chinese expatriate and a Nigerian, at Yakila but refused to speak on those killed.
Channels Television further gathered that the attackers first stormed Yakila community at about 12:00noon on Monday and opened fire on expatriates and some Nigerian citizens who were working on the rehabilitation of Minna Zungeru road.
On hearing the gunshots, a team of security operatives mainly mobile policemen engaged the bandits in a gun shootout which lasted for more than three hours.
A resident in the area and staff of the National Orientation Agency Iliyasu Mohammed also confirmed the incident to Channels Television via telephone conversation.
According to him, when the bandits arrived Yakila, they started shooting, and then went after the expatriates and construction workers that were working on the road.
Mohammed said the security operatives that were stationed at a signal office around the area responded to the attack which resulted in exchange of gunfire between the bandits and the security personnel.
He said the security personnel sent the bandits on their heels up to a river around Pandogari before returning back, but that 5 of the bandits were reportedly killed, while the security operatives suffered some casualties.
Also, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abubakar Bello on Security matters, Colonel MK Maikundi (retired) confirmed the attack to newsmen.
The latest attack comes barely a week after gunmen attacked Ukuru community in Mariga local government area of the state killing at least fifteen persons, including four vigilante members.
Governor Abubakar Bello, reacting to the attack at the time through a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary Mary Noel-Berje said his administration and the federal government would fine-tune the security strategy in the state to dislodge the armed men.
The Governor who commiserated with families of the victims of the attack had also enjoined them to be vigilant and report activities of anybody they considered alien to them.
According to the statement, Governor Abubakar Bello had also visited a special military camp in Katsina alongside his colleague, the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai to inspect the camp and also seek ways to strengthen the issue of border patrol as the state shares border with neighbouring states in the northwest.
Niger State has come under serious security threats in the last one year due to activities of bandits, with hundreds of persons killed, and thousands of others displaced.
The two wives and a child of the lawmaker representing Dass Constituency in the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Musa Mante Barassa, have regained their freedom.
Channels Television learned that the victims regained their freedom after spending four days in captivity.
The Chief of Staff, Bauchi Government House, Dr Ladan Salihu, announced the news of their release on his Twitter handle.
Alhamdulillah! The Wives of Hon Musa Baraza, Bauchi House Member murdered 4 days ago in Dass have regained freedom.The one year-old baby abducted along with them is also released. Gov Bala Mohammed has directed Doctors and Security to give them adequate care and attention.