Birnin Gwari Attacks: Military Vows To Track Down Perpetrators

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai addresses State House Correspondents on Thursday after briefing President Buhari on the nation’s security situation at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

 

The Nigerian Army has vowed to track down the perpetrators of Birnin Gwari attacks that left at least seven dead and five others injured.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai said the army would collaborate with other security agencies in dislodging miscreant believed to be hiding.

Buratai stated this in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Thursday after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on the state of security in the country.

“We will continue to operate with other security agencies that have been charged with the responsibility of securing our country,” he said.

The COAS further expressed the optimism of the gradual return of the Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) to their respective communities.

He added, “And the deployment of the unit there is quite strategic. It is in line with the Nigerian Army Order of Battle that was approved in 2016 and we are going to implement all of them to achieve the strategic objectives of the government.

“That is essentially why we have to put the battalion there and they will work along with other security agencies and be rest assured that Operation Last Hold will further consolidate on the achievements so far in the North East.”

Buratai’s comments come less than 24 hours after reported attacks on the affected community in Kaduna State by armed bandits.

The attacks follow the COAS inauguration of a two Battalion Forward Operation Base (FOB) in the state to complement the efforts of the police.

The spokesman for the State Police Command, Muktar Aliyu, had told Channels Television on Wednesday that the armed bandits invaded Mashigi, Dakwaro, Sabon Gida villages and started shooting sporadically, burning down houses and farmlands in an operation which the residents said lasted for over three hours.

Hundreds of people including security operatives have been killed and several others abducted in Birnin-Gwari in the past one year in series of attacks by armed bandits.

These repeated attacks which seem unabated is now giving the residents of the area sleepless nights as they are worried about their safety.

Northern Governors Seek Abolition of Indigene-Settler Dichotomy

Northern Governors Seek Abolition of Indigene-Settler DichotomyThe Governors of Nigeria’s 19 northern states are seeking the abolition of the indigenes-settler dichotomy which they have identified as one of the major causes of communal conflicts in the region.

This is part of the resolution reached at the end of their two-day meeting with traditional rulers in Kaduna state.

Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, addressed journalists at the end of the meeting.

He decried the increasing level of insecurity and wanton destruction of lives and property in the region describing it as a cause for concern.

He said that abolishing the indigene/settler agitation will not only eliminate crisis in all parts of the country, but will also foster national integration and development.

According to him, every Nigerian should have a sense of belonging wherever they are residing in as much as such citizens abide by the traditional norms and values of their host communities.

The governors also linked the killings and other acts of violence against fellow Nigerians in Southern Kaduna and other communities as politically motivated from both within and outside the region.

They called on those they describe as ‘Conflict Entrepreneurs’ to desist from instigating crisis or face prosecution.

The forum, while commiserating with victims of the Southern Kaduna attacks and that of the recent accidental bombing in Borno state, also commended the federal government for providing the necessary leadership to security forces to defeat Boko Haram insurgency and for the drive to rid the country of all forms of vices that confront the society.

The meeting ended with a resolution that all the states must work closely in order to deal with peculiar security challenges confronting the region as well as ensuring that peace is restored in all troubled areas.

SERAP Drags FG to UN Over Southern Kaduna Killings

SERAP Drags FG to UN Over Southern Kaduna KillingsSocio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Ms. Agnes Callamard, urging her to “prevail on the Nigerian authorities to halt further killings of innocent citizens in Southern Kaduna”.

The group also wants them to urgently investigate recent allegations of killings of over 800 citizens mostly women, children and the elderly in that part of the country by suspected herdsmen, and to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, and to provide reparations to victims”

SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, made this known to newsmen on Friday.

The organization also asked Ms. Callamard to “request to visit Nigeria to conduct fact-finding mission into the circumstances surrounding the killings.”

In the petition dated 30 December 2016 and signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization expressed “concern that the killings of citizens in Southern Kaduna of Nigeria amount to serious violations of the rights to life; to security of the human person; to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being; and right to property guaranted by not only the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) but also the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

The petition reads in part: “SERAP contends that Nigerian authorities have failed and/or neglected to respect these human rights and to exercise due diligence to ensure that these rights are not violated by private individuals such as herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators. Nigerian government should therefore be held to account for failing or neglecting to guarantee and protect the rights of the people in Southern Kaduna, regardless of whether such violations are directly or indirectly attributable to the state or its officials.

“SERAP is concerned that the Nigerian government has failed and/or neglected to create an environment in Southern Kaduna to end the unlawful killings by failing to move their legal and institutional machinery towards the actual realisation of these rights.  It is in fact the failure by the government to take adequate measures to prevent the violence which has contributed to the increasing number of victims.”

“SERAP believes that the killings would not have taken place if the Nigerian authorities have taken measures to prevent their happening and to address persistent impunity of those responsible for the violations and abuses. The lack of accountability for the attacks by herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators across the country has continued to create a culture of impunity which clearly is not compatible with the rule of law in a democratic society.”

“According to the leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna State, a total of 808 people were killed in 53 villages across the four local governments areas in the state ridden by crisis.

“The church leaders also said that 57 people were injured; farm produce estimated at N5.5 billion were also destroyed, and a total of 1,422 houses and 16 churches were burnt during the attacks.

“The affected communities are spread across Kaura, Sanga, Jama’a and Kauru Local Government Areas where there had been persistent attacks on communities by gunmen believed to be Fulani herdsmen.”

Asides its demand for an effective investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killings and to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, and to provide reparations to victims, the group wants the government to provide a framework of security for the protection of life, and to protect the lives of those individuals at risk from unlawful attacks in Southern Kaduna.

808 People Killed in Southern Kaduna Attacks, Catholic Church Claims

808 People Killed in Southern Kaduna Attacks, Catholic Church ClaimsNo fewer than 808 people have been killed in the ongoing attacks on communities by suspected armed herdsmen in Southern Kaduna.

This is according to the Catholic Archdiocese of Kafanchan.

In a statement issued by the Vicar General of the diocese, Reverend Father Ibrahim Yakubu, 53 villages have so far been attacked and 57 people injured.

The church also accused government and security agencies of not doing enough to protect the people of the area from being attacked by the armed bandits.

Yakubu said, “Four local government areas have been attacked, with 808 people killed and 1,422 houses, 16 Churches, 19 shops, and one primary school destroyed.

“Unfortunately, our government both at the Centre and State levels have failed woefully”

The church, while demanding for immediate end to attacks in the area and compensation to all families that lost loved ones or property, also called for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry be put in place to investigate the causes of the crisis.

“We call on Southern Kaduna indigenes to remain steadfast in prayer, united, strong and never to cave in to the antics of our adversaries.

“Tribe and denominational differences shouldn’t put a chasm between us.”

House Seeks Security Emergency In Southern Kaduna

House of Representatives in Nigeria kick against removal of JegaThe House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government and the Kaduna State Government to declare a Security Emergency in southern Kaduna over continuous attacks on communities in the area.

The House on Wednesday adopted a motion by Honourable Simon Arabo and five others which drew attention to the attacks allegedly carried out by Fulani herdsmen, resulting in deaths, injuries, loss of property and displacement from communities.

While urging the National Emergency Management Agency to provide relief materials to the Internally Displaced Persons resulting from the attacks, the House also called on the various security agencies to intensify efforts to apprehend and bring to justice all persons involved in the several attacks in the area.

Dusk To Dawn Curfew

On October 15 at least 20 persons were killed and property destroyed in an attack by unknown armed bandits on Godogodo village in Jemaa Local Government Area of Kaduna State in northern Nigeria.

An indigene of the local government told Channels Television, that the gunmen invaded Godogodo village On Saturday night shooting sporadically and setting buildings ablaze.

“In the process they killed 20 persons while several others were injured,” the indigene said.

“The entire community has been deserted. Residents have fled from their homes for fear of being attacked by the armed bandits,” he added.

The gunmen were said to have also ambushed a police patrol team in the area on Friday evening, opened fire on them and in the process killed two policemen and injured one.

The spokesman for the police in the state, Aliyu Usman, confirmed the attack to Channels Television’s correspondent, Chimezie Enyiocha.

He says the State Police Command is assessing the situation to ascertain the number of casualties.

More mobile and conventional policemen have been deployed to Godogodo, Kafanchan and other neighbouring communities to restore order and prevent further escalation of the crisis.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In the meantime, a dusk to dawn curfew has been imposed in the affected areas by the interim Chairman of Jemaa Local Government Area, Mr Humble Katuka, until normalcy returns to the area.

In his reaction to the attack, the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, described the incident as barbaric, inhumane and unwarranted.

Speaking through his Deputy, Mr Bala Bantex, the governor appealed to residents of the community to remain calm and law abiding, assuring them that the government would do everything within its powers to restore peace in the area.

He also cautioned them not to embark in any form of reprisal attacks.

Gunmen Attack Checkpoint In Kaduna, Kill Policeman

Gunmen suspected to be armed robbers yesterday attacked a police check point in Kaduna town, killing one policeman and injuring another officer during a shootout.

Eyewitnesses said the gunmen who were carrying sophisticated guns attacked the policemen at a check point located in Ungwan Dosa area of Kaduna North Local Government.

Confirming the incident, state commissioner of Police, Mr Olufemi Adenaike told Channels Television that one of the policemen who sustained injury during the shootout died at St. Gerald Catholic Hospital in the town, where he was rushed to for treatment, while another officer is said to be responding to treatment.

Although it has not been confirmed what the mission of the gunmen was in the area, he said that the gunmen equally escaped with gunshot wounds.

The attack created pandemonium as residents of the area fled for their safety.

Security operatives have been drafted to the area to maintain law and order.