Flood Hits More Communities In Niger State

Scenes from communities hit by a flood in Niger State.

 

Barely three days after the Niger State Government disclosed that over one hundred communities have been affected by a flood, at least fifteen new communities have been hit by a fresh flood in the Lapai local government area of the state.

The communities include Egba, Achiba, Apataku, Ebwa, Arah, Adunbenku, Old Muye, Reba, Sokun, Edda, Pele, Dere, Eshi, and Yawa.

Several houses have been flooded and farmlands washed away.

An eyewitness Alhaji Zubairu Musa who sent video clips and pictures of the situation to Channels Television Correspondent in Niger State said a lot of properties have also been destroyed.

“Many houses and farmlands have been submerged, destroyed and a lot of properties have been lost so far.

“Some people have been evacuated to a safe place for the safety of their lives,” Musa said in the text accompanying the clips he sent to us.

In the video clips, residents of the Egba community are seen on canoes, making frantic efforts to rescue their children and whatever they could rescue.

A woman by name Maryam Egba said they were asleep at the time the flood happened.

“We were asleep when it all happened. I woke up and found that the water flooded our rooms. There is no place for us to sleep,” Maryam said.

Another woman, Kulu Abdulrahman lamented that they were hungry as the flood had washed away their foodstuff.

“We don’t have what to eat. It’s really a trying moment for us. We appeal to both federal government to come to our aid,” Abdulrahman cried out.

Most riverine communities in Niger State are affected by flooding annually.

Many have attributed the challenge to the presence of three hydroelectric dams in the state, namely, Jebba Dam, Kainji Dam, Tagwai Dam, and the fourth one under construction at Zungeru in Wushishi local government area.

The state Emergency Management Agency has also announced that a more severe type of flooding experience, “Black Flood” could occur still in this year.

According to the Director-General of the agency, Ahmed Inga, neighbouring countries such as Benin, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon may release water from their dams, and Niger State sitting along the River Niger could be badly affected.

The Deputy Governor of the State, Ahmed Ketso during the visit of a team from the National Emergency Management Agency to his office on Thursday had appealed to the Federal government to help in the construction of houses at some of the relocation sites that the state government had secured for the relocation of communities around the riverine areas so as to mitigate losses whenever there is a flood.

He also reiterated the need for the government to support the rural farmers with inputs to enable them to embark on dry season farming which will help them carry on their age-long profession even after they have relocated.

At Least 17 Killed By Suspected Bandits In Niger State

 

At least 17 persons are feared killed by bandits in Dukku community in Rijau local government area of Niger State.

Eyewitnesses said the attackers stormed the community at about 7:00 pm on Wednesday, and also attacked a bank at Kagara in Rafi local government area.

The attackers were said to have laid ambush on the community for several hours before unleashing mayhem on the people.

Those killed were mostly members of the local vigilante group in the area who had attempted to combat the gunmen but were overpowered.

A resident of the community told Channels Television via Telephone conversation that the bandits numbering over 120 stormed the community on bikes with sophisticated weapons.

Confirming the incident to Channels Television, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Muhammed Sani Idris however said people were killed, but that the casualty figure was yet to be ascertained.

RELATED: Tension In Niger Community As Suspected Bandits Attack Bank

“Many people were killed quite okay. But, we cannot tell the exact number of persons that were killed. We are still trying to gather more facts on the incident, and as soon as we have an official figure, I would communicate to you,” Idris said in a telephone conversation with our reporter in Minna the Niger State capital.

Meanwhile, Governor Abubakar Bello in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel-Berje, on Thursday, has appealed to residents of Kagara to remain calm, assuring that the government is deploying resources at its disposal to ensure the protection of their lives and property.

According to the Governor, “No responsible government will fold its arms and allow law-abiding and innocent citizens to be mauled down.”

The Governor acknowledged the enormity of the security challenges facing the state but assured the people that the state in active collaboration with President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies remain undaunted in its war against the lower societal elements making life miserable for the people.

The Governor commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives in the attack and prayed for a speedy recovery for the injured victims.

He solicited the cooperation of the people for their useful information to the security agencies, assuring them that their identity will be kept confidential.

Similarly, the Police in Niger State confirmed the killing of 11 persons in Wednesday’s attack at Kagara in Rafi local government area of the state.

Commissioner of Police Adamu Usman gave the confirmation shortly after visiting the area with some of his men.

He said six of the attackers were killed by policemen during the incident on Wednesday.

Usman however revealed that a policeman, a private security guard, a local vigilante, and one resident were gunned down by the gunmen, while a boy died from shock.

Speaking on the attack on the bank, CP Usman said the attackers were unable to gain access to the bank due to heavy firepower from the Policemen who scared the attackers away.

Police Confirm Eleven Deaths In Niger Bank Attack

A map showing Niger state.
A map showing Niger state.

 

The Police in Niger State has finally confirmed the killing of eleven persons in Wednesday’s attack on a bank and other houses at Kagara in Rafi local government area of the state.

Commissioner of Police in the Niger State, Adamu Usman gave the confirmation on Thursday shortly after visiting the area with some of his men.

He said six of the attackers were killed by policemen during the incident on Wednesday.

Usman, however, revealed that a policeman, a private security guard, a local vigilante and one resident were gunned down by the gunmen, while a boy died from shock.

Speaking on the attack on the bank, CP Usman said the attackers were unable to gain access into the bank due to heavy firepower from the Policemen who scared the attackers away.

On the same day, at least 17 persons were feared killed by bandits in Dukku community in Rijau local government area of Niger State.

Eyewitnesses said the attackers stormed the community at about 7:00 pm on Wednesday, and also attacked a bank at Kagara in Rafi local government area.

The attackers were said to have laid ambush on the community for several hours before unleashing mayhem on the people.

Those killed were mostly members of the local vigilante group in the area who had attempted to combat the gunmen but were overpowered.

A resident of the community told Channels Television via Telephone conversation that the bandits numbering over 120 stormed the community on bikes with sophisticated weapons.

Confirming the incident to Channels Television, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Muhammed Sani Idris however said people were killed, but that the casualty figure was yet to be ascertained.

“Many people were killed quite okay. But, we cannot tell the exact number of persons that were killed.

“We are still trying to gather more facts on the incident, and as soon as we have an official figure, I would communicate to you,” Idris said in a telephone conversation with our reporter in Minna the Niger State capital.

Niger State Records Two More COVID-19 Cases

 

Niger State has recorded two more cases of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the state to eight.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Muhammad Makusidi, disclosed this on Thursday while giving an update on the cases recorded in the state.

He explained that one of the new cases is the husband of the only woman at the isolation center from Suleja and a returnee from Kano and a second new case is a man already at the quarantine center from Zumba, and also a returnee from Kano.

READ ALSO:  COVID-19: Kano JOHESU Decries Inadequate Training Of Members, PPE Supply

He, however, revealed that the Limawa index case is now negative and awaiting a second test confirmation before he can be discharged.

The Commissioner also disclosed that all the Almajiris, including their Mallams, have been confirmed negative and ready for discharge accordingly.

Meanwhile, two returnees have been received in the hospital, one from Lagos and the other from Ibadan; both with relevant symptoms but clinically stable.

 

COVID-19: Intra, Inter State Movement Of People And Vehicles Remains Banned – Niger Govt

 

The Niger State Government has reiterated that the lockdown and other measures put in place by Government such as intra and inter-state movement of people and vehicles remains banned.

Public and Private Schools as well as Tertiary Institutions are also to remain closed while social activities that involve more than twenty people stand prohibited.

A statement issued by Secretary to the Government of Niger State (SSG) and Chairman, Niger State Task Force on COVID-19, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane further disclosed that movement within border areas remain restricted and monitored except for those on essential services, stressing that even those eligible to cross into the State will be examined and screened thoroughly by medical personnel.

READ ALSO: Suspected Killer Of Funke Olakunrin, Two Others Test Positive For COVID-19

The Chairman announced that the wearing of face mask in public places in Niger State is now mandatory, adding that “Wearing of face mask by residents of the State is very important. It is for personal protection and prevents the spread of coronavirus and other related ailments’’.

The SSG further stated that while the lockdown is still enforce, however apart from those on essential services, certain critical services such as food vendors, water vendors, supermarkets, kiosk owners and farmers will be allowed to operate on the condition that they will wear face mask, observe social distancing, provide hand washing facilities and other precautionary measures.

In addition, every person that is coming into the public will be compelled to wear face mask and violators of this directive will be prosecuted by Mobile Court, the statement added.

The SSG disclosed that time to time there will be review of the application of the measures taken by Government with a view to reducing hardship being experienced by people as a result of the lockdown and other precautionary measures.

Ahmed Matane stated that the State Task Force on COVID-19 has a duty to work closely with all relevant stakeholders in order to ensure that everything is been done to contain the spread of the virus in the State, adding that security agencies should ensure strict compliance to all the directives given by the State Government.

COVID-19: Niger State Declares Total Lockdown For Two Weeks

 

The Niger state government has declared a total lockdown in the state for two weeks from Monday, April 13.

Governor Abubakar Bello made the declaration while briefing journalists after an extensive, emergency executive meeting at the government house Minna on Saturday.

He said the decision became necessary after the confirmation of one positive case of COVID-19.

He disclosed that the patient is a returnee from Lagos state and resides at Limawa community in Minna.

Governor Abubakar Bello said Limawa community will also be in isolation for the two weeks period with health workers engaged to sensitize members of the community within the period.

All religious gatherings in churches and mosques have been suspended till further notice, the Governor said.

He regretted the earlier decision by the state government to relax the restriction order that was in place was taken for granted by citizens without regard to social distancing and necessary hygienes.

Governor Abubakar Bello said the state government is liaising with local tailors association in the state for production of face masks in view of the scarcity of the items.

He also said health workers would also be engaged at strategic points with thermometers to carry out regular temperature tests.

The Governor, who said palliatives would be provided to the poorest in the society, warned politicians not to hijack the items by the time they are released.

Niger Yet To Record COVID-19 Case As Govt Opens Markets

 

 

Despite the increase in cases of COVID-19 within the country, the Niger State Government has resolved to soft-pedal on some of the measures it had taken to curb the spread of the virus.

The curfew declared by the state government has now been relaxed and will be observed from 2:00pm to 10:00pm as against the initial 10:00am to 12:00pm declared earlier.

Secretary to the State Government and Chairman, Niger State Task Force on COVID-19, Ahmed Matane, while briefing journalists at the conference hall of his office also stated that markets in the state earlier shut down will now operate from 8:00am to 2:00pm.

He said Friday prayers and Sunday services will begin to hold from next week, but that the government will ensure strict adherence to social distancing.

READ ALSO: Funke Akindele, Husband Plead Guilty To Social Distancing Violation

According to the SSG, civil servants from level 1 to 12 who were initially asked to stay at home will also resume work from Monday, the 6th of April, 2020.

Matane also disclosed that Governor Abubakar Bello has invoked the Niger State COVID-19 (Preventive, Containment and Emergency) Order 2020 as part of measures to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 within the Local Area.

The Executive Order according to him is derived from Section 3 of the Restriction of Movement of Persons Law Cap 115, Laws of Niger State, 1989, Section 40 of the Niger State Public Health Law, Cap. 109, Laws of Niger State, 1989 (as amended), Section 2,3 and 8 of the Quarantine Act Cap Q2 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 45 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

Speaking further, Matane warned that any person who fails to comply with a restriction, prohibition or requirement imposed under the Order shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment in accordance with the extant laws.

Meanwhile, the state government says all entry point to Niger State remains closed except those on essential services and that schools would still remain closed.

On the COVID-19 status of the state, Matane said Niger State is yet to record any confirmed positive case of COVID-19. He however regrets that not much of the residents in the state have been tested.

According to Matane only 3 persons out of the over five million citizens in Niger State have been able to undergo testing for the virus.

“Even the Governor who recently got tested for COVID-19 didn’t find it easy. His sample that was collected had to wait on a very long queue before it was tested.

“The fact that there are only few testing centres across the entire country, really makes it difficult for testing to take place. We are hoping that we would be able to establish a testing centre in the state very soon,” he said.

Gunmen Attack Niger Communities, Kill One Police Officer, Shoot Military Men

Cholera Kills 10 Persons In Niger State

 

Gunmen have attacked Galkogo and Zumba villages in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, reportedly killing one mobile police officer, shooting three military men and several other persons.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the attacks to Channels Television in a telephone conversation on Sunday.

According to him, the armed men attacked the communities riding on more than 50 motorcycles in an operation that lasted for over two hours.

According to locals, apart from the security officials who were attacked, a little girl was shot on her stomach and another man was shot on the thigh, while some members of the communities have been abducted.

The senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Sani Musa, who forwarded some video clips to Channels Television, said he was disturbed by the security situation in his constituency, particularly in Shiroro, Munya, Rafi and Paikoro local government areas where bandits have continued to unleash mayhem on the locals.

According to him, members of the affected communities have since fled their homes and are currently taking shelter in the bush.

He, however, noted that those who sustained injuries in the attacks are being attended to at the IBB Specialist Hospital in Minna, while also stating that the state Commissioner of Police, Adamu Usman has now deployed special squads to the area.

CAS Inspects Facilities In Minna, Assures Governor Of Air Force’ Continued Support

File Photo

 

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has assured the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, of the commitment of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to ensuring the safety and security of the people of Niger State, working in concert with sister services and other security agencies.

The CAS made this known today, February 25, 2020, when he met with the Governor at the Government House Minna, as part of his operational visit to Niger State, which was aimed at assessing facilities emplaced at the Minna Airport to enable the effective conduct of the ongoing anti-banditry air operation code-named “Operation Gama Aiki”.

While, in Minna, the CAS also inspected facilities at the 013 Quick Response Group (013 QRG) NAF Base Minna, including the Base Medical Centre as well as the disused G-222 aircraft provided as a mock-up for anti-aircraft hijacking training, amongst others, where he mentioned that two sets of NAF personnel, who had earlier been trained in anti-aircraft hijacking, would soon be re-assembled to replicate the training locally in Minna.

Speaking during the courtesy call, Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed that the NAF would continue to work alongside other security agencies to bring succour to troubled communities in Niger State.

He stated that he had assessed facilities in the NAF Base, in preparation for the deployment of additional Regiment and Special Forces (SF) personnel to support operations in the state, whilst assuring that the air assets already deployed, including the helicopters and Alpha Jet aircraft, would continue to provide support to the Army and Police.

The CAS equally disclosed that as part of efforts of the Service to alleviate the plight of those affected by the activities of armed bandits, he had directed that a medical outreach be conducted to cater for the healthcare needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) at Kuta in Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA).

Air Marshal Abubakar ended his remarks by thanking the Government and people of Niger State for their continued support to the NAF.

In his response, Governor Bello, while noting that the state had gone through a very challenging period, expressed his satisfaction with the arrangements emplaced by the NAF.

He, therefore, thanked the CAS for the tremendous support provided by the deployment of air assets to add value to the Internal Security Operations in the State, especially the most vulnerable areas bordering Zamfara, Kebbi and Kaduna States.

He also commended the CAS for approving the conduct of the medical outreach to Kuta, more so that the NAF had carried out a similar outreach at Chukuba and Kwaki Communities of Shiroro LGA in June 2019.

The CAS, who was accompanied on the visit by the NAF Chief of Training and Operations NAF, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) James Gwani, the Air Secretary NAF, AVM Mahmoud Ahmed, and the Director of Logistics, AVM Ademola Durotoye, amongst other senior officers, had earlier received briefings from the Commander 013 QRG and the Air Component Commander Operation GAMA AIKI, which were held behind closed doors.

Four Killed, 34 Injured In Niger Tanker Explosion

 

Four persons have been confirmed killed and 34 others injured following a tanker explosion at Kutigi town in Lavun Local Government Area of Niger State.

The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in the state, Joel Dagwa, confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Tuesday.

According to him, the explosion happened after a tanker carrying substance suspected to be diesel, collided with a container loaded with bags of maize which was also carrying about 200 people, as well as another trailer loaded with bags of maize and other farm produce.

 

 

Dagwa also stated that a story-building and several other shops by the roadside were gutted by the fire.

He, however, noted that all those who sustained injuries are now receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Kutigi.

“The trucks were from the North heading towards Lagos, while the tanker was from Lagos heading towards the North,” he said.

NLC Suspends Indefinite Industrial Action After Five Days Of Strike In Niger

 

The Nigerian Labour Congress in Niger State has suspended the indefinite strike action it embarked upon five days ago.

The suspension of the strike follows an agreement between organised labour and the state government on immediate implementation of the new minimum wage of thirty thousand naira and the consequential adjustments on salaries of civil servants.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: Rivers Govt Threatened To ‘Deal With Us’, NLC Claims

Briefing journalists at the Labour House in Minna, the chairman of the state NLC, comrade Yakubu Garba says the state government has also agreed to pay two months arrears on the new minimum wage to state workers and three months for local government staff in march this year.

He also says government has agreed to release twenty percent of the monthly internally generated revenue to address the liabilities accrued on the 7.5% contributory pension scheme.

Several Feared Killed In Renewed Attacks On Niger Communities

Cholera Kills 10 Persons In Niger State

 

Several persons are feared dead in Niger State after bandits attacked some communities between Friday night and Saturday evening.

The senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Sani Musa, confirmed the attacks to Channels Television.

According to him, Kudodo, Galapai, Dnakpala, and Dnalagwa communities were among those who fell victim.

He also condemned the lack of response by security agents in the state, despite the fact that the attacks lasted several hours.

Read Also: Man Found Hung On Tree In Katsina

Efforts by Channels TV’s correspondent to get an official confirmation from the police were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, reacting to the incident, the State Governor, Abubakar Bello noted that security personnel have been deployed to the area to flush out the bandits.