Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has condemned in it entirety the terrorist attack on joint security operatives at a mining site in Ajata Aboki, a community in Gurmana Ward, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
The attack on Wednesday led to the killing of many security personnel and the kidnap of unspecified number of workers at the site including 4 expatriates of Chinese Nationals.
Reacting to the development, Governor Bello in a statement, commiserated with heads of the various security agencies that are part of the joint security operatives in the State for the loss of their personnel while ensuring the safety of people.
The governor also sympathized with the families of the slain security agents, assuring them that the sacrifices of their loved ones will not go in vain and commended the bravery of those who engaged the terrorists, causing them to record casualties also.
He acknowledged the efforts of the joint security operatives in the state with the support of his administration which has brought relative peace in the affected areas in the state.
While urging the security personnel not to be dampened by the incident on their colleagues, he encouraged them to remain committed in discharging their duties and ensure the safe return of the four Chinese Nationals and unspecified number of workers kidnapped at the mining site.
The governor has equally directed a manhunt on the remaining terrorists to ensure they do not escape.
“This is really disturbing especially as the state has been relatively peaceful with only pockets of attacks being recorded as compared to some time past.
“It really saddened my heart to hear about this. It is even more worrisome to know that lives of security personnel were involved and expatriates were also among those kidnapped.
“My heart goes out to the family of our security men killed, I pray that Allah will grant them Aljannah Firdausi and quick recovery to those injured.
He also prayed for the safe return of those kidnapped.
The terrorists were said to have attacked joint security operatives in an ambush while the personnel were responding to a distressed call at a mining site in Ajata Aboki community in Gurmana Ward of Shiroro local government area leading to several casualties on both sides.
Authorities say four Chinese Nationals and an unknown number of workers at the mining site were kidnapped, there whereabout remain unknown even as security operatives continue to comb various enclaves with the hope of rescuing the victims.
Gunmen have killed persons, injured and abducted many others including four Chinese nationals in an attack on a mining site in Ajata- Aboki, Gurmana Ward of Shiroro Local Government, Niger State.
The Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths Of Niger State, Sani Abubakar Yusuf Kokki, as well as the Niger State Government confirmed the incident in separate statements issued on Thursday.
“During yesterday’s deadly encounter, a large number of casualties were instantly recorded at the said mining site being owned and managed by Chinese Nationals as the AK-47 rifle wielding terrorists gunned down their victims at sight as well as shot sporadically into the air thereby leading to more devastating consequence,” Kokki’s statement read.
“Information at my disposal further proved that about thirteen (13) people including seven (7) mobile policemen attached to the mining site probably as guards (providing security cover for the expatriates) and six (6) other civilians were gruesomely killed through an ambush while scores of others who sustained various degrees of multiple gunshots injuries (some in critical condition) have been taken to various medical facilities for treatment.”
“However, a yet-to-be ascertained number of workers in the mining site including four Chinese nationals were reported to have been abducted,” the Niger government added in a statement by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Emmanuel Umar.
Although Kokki noted that the Nigerian Army stationed nearby swung into action to repel the attack, he said several officers were gunned down by the assailants.
In a separate update, he added that the death toll had risen, noting that “almost thirty soldiers have been discovered in the bush and confirmed dead”. More bodies are still being expected as search efforts have intensified, Kokki said.
While reacting to the incident, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, commiserated with the families of the victims.
“It really saddened my heart to hear about this. It is even more worrisome to know that lives of security personnel were involved and expatriates were also among those kidnapped,” the governor said in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel-Berje.
“My heart goes out to the family of our security men killed, I pray that Allah will grant them Aljannah Firdausi and quick recovery to those injured.”
While urging the security personnel not to be dampened by the incident, the governor charged them to remain committed to discharging their duties and ensure the safe return of the four Chinese Nationals and others kidnapped at the mining site.
The Senate says terrorist enclaves have been identified within three local government areas of Kwara and Niger States.
This formed part of discussions raised after the upper chamber considered a motion on the worsening insecurity in Kainji Lake National Park and threat to communities in Kaima, Baruten and Borgu Local Government in Kwara and Niger states.
According to the sponsor of the motion, Senator Sadiq Umar, kidnapping and other forms of criminality have now become prevalent in communities close to Kainji Lake National Park and this has led to palpable fear in the communities.
“Many are leaving their villages and farms to seek refuge in the towns that will soon be threatened as well if nothing is done about this insecurity situation. In fact, some communities have started paying the criminals some sort of tax to be allowed to stay safe,” Umar said.
The senate has, therefore, asked the military to carry out a comprehensive onslaught of bandits and criminal elements within the Kainji Lake National Park and the identified communities.
A military personnel has shot to death a fuel attendant of AYM Shafa filling station along Bosso road of Chanchaga local government area in Minna.
According to reports, the incident occurred around 1:30 pm on Monday when crisis erupted between the military official who came into the station with a Hilux vehicle to buy fuel after the attendant had stopped selling.
It was gathered that Yusuf Sa’ad, the fuel attendant who was killed, confronted the military officers when their manager was being harassed to give them fuel from their military reserve.
It was revealed that the deceased attempted to stop one of the military personnel for harassing the manager hence he was shot and was confirmed dead before reaching the general hospital, Minna.
A fuel attendant in the station Aliyu Umar confirmed the incident to Channels Television.
When contacted, the Niger State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the incident on telephone and said investigation into the unfortunate incident has commenced while tactical teams have been deployed to the area to ensure normalcy.
A former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Liman Kantigi has emerged winner of the governorship primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party in Niger State.
Kantigi beat four other aspirants – Sani Kutigi, Sidi Abdul, Abdulrahman Gimba and Abdullahi Jankara – to clinch the party’s ticket.
Announcing the results, the Chairman of the State electoral panel and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said a total of 808 delegates were accredited to vote in the primaries which held at the party secretariat in Minna.
The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma told the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday that he sees hope in him.
Governor Uzodimma made the remarks after Lawan addressed the All Progressives Congress(APC) leaders and delegates from the five Southeast states of Imo, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi and Enugu who converged at the party Secretariat in Owerri.
Uzodimma said it was clear that President Muhammadu Buhari would have to give recommendations and guidance on the succession plans but prayed that the President would see what some of them had seen.
Governor Uzodimma said: “The party is aware that it is only our President, President Muhammadu Buhari who understands the demography and the character of the current national politics vis-a-vis the insecurity, economy and the public welfare and the party will also be guided by his recommendations in managing the succession plans.
“These delegates are still here. They have cried for a very long time against not given sufficient recognition and relevance to the people of Southeast.
“That is why I’m almost certain that they will not be influenced by money nor by any material influence. They will do that which will attract to our people the relevance and recognition nationally that we have been looking for, for a very long time.
“I have listened to you. Very brilliant ideology. I have also seen that you are highly detribalised and nationalistic. I think, in you, I can see hope.
“Therefore, I will recommend very highly that Mr President in his wisdom, guided by the spirit of God, will also see what some of us have seen.
“One assurance that you should take home is that, Northeast and Southeast are related by blood. Getting no-objection certificate from Mr President, we will not be stopped by anybody.
“So when you go home, greet our brothers and sisters. Before you came, our own brother, the Governor of Ebonyi came to address the delegates.
“And in doing so, he also recognised copiously the relationship between Northeast and Southeast to the extent that he even re-echoed that the two geo-political zones are the most marginalised in Nigeria.
“Therefore, whatever comes to Southeast is as good as it has gone to Northeast. And whatever goes to Northeast is as good as it has come to Southeast. We are with you.
“You are completely loyal to the leadership of our great Party, APC, under the command of President Muhammadu Buhari and I’m almost certain that our decision may likely be guided by his recommendations and counsel.”
Earlier, Lawan who described Uzodimma as the “Lion of the Southeast” said he had been a “major pillar in all my political journey since we started.
“He was at the forefront in 2015, you know he was a Senator, he wanted me to be Senate President. He worked so hard tirelessly.
“But today, to the Glory of God, this our brother, the Governor of Imo state, has worked so hard to also keep this campaign going. Actually, he presented my completed nomination form.”
The Senate President outlined his plans to the delegates if given the chance to fly the flag of his party the APC and if elected as President:
“For me, it is security first. Because you need to secure the people. Even for them to go to their farms or to go to their markets or to go about their local businesses, they need to be secured.
“This is a challenge that this administration has been working so hard to ensure that every citizen is secured.
“I am coming from the Northeast. Coming from Yobe State. We were under the domination of Boko Haram between 2014 and 2015, before President Muhammadu Buhari took office.
“Today we are far safer. Most of the insurgents are coming out to surrender with their families. Their leaders have been killed.
“Of course, before President Muhammadu Buhari took over, about 15 or 16 of our Local Governments in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa were under the full control of Boko Haram. But we still have challenges.
“That is a success story for our administration. That is the kind of story we want repeated in all parts of Nigeria. We are battling so hard in the Northwest and some parts of the Northcentral with the bandits and kidnappers and of course in the south particularly the Southeast which is a recent development.
“The Southeast is supposed to be our South Korea. It’s supposed to be our Japan. It’s supposed to be our America in Nigeria. Very ingenious people. Very enterprising people.
“And therefore, we must never allow our past history, history told by colonialists….we are the same people because whether you are coming from the North or From the South or the East or the West, you are a Nigerian.
“And as a Nigerian, you will pray and work that every Nigerian in every part of Nigeria succeeds and be in peace because what happens here in Owerri affects me in Yobe and what happens in Yobe affects you here.
“So I believe that given the opportunity, and we are already doing something, we must have a national integration policy. National cohesion.
“What does that mean? It is for us to ensure that there is fairness and access to social, economic and political opportunities. This is one way to go because most of the time, the crisis, the conflict is about the resource distribution, opportunity that is available to everyone.
“But I believe that we must continue to work for national integration to give everyone a sense of belonging. If you are a business man you should excel in any part of Nigeria you chose to be.
“Secondly, having secured our nation, we must continue to work for the improvement in our economy. Our economy is already the largest in Africa and that is a feat. We have been able to succeed to maintain the number one position despite two years of COVID 19 that we suffered.
“One thing is that we need to improve to make this economy more productive and more inclusive. That is to say that those at the highest level should not enjoy at the expense of those at the lowest part of the ladder.
“That is to say if you are a small trader, you should have some support. You already have some support, the empowerment programmes by the present administration.
“But what we need to do is to ensure that in areas like the Southeast, where majority of people are business oriented, the Small and Medium Scales Enterprises, will have to be supported. Once everybody has something to do, nobody will like to call for any trouble.
“So I want to make that my mission, that employment opportunities must come through support to SMEs.
“I want to see a situation where our women will continue to play a dominant role but I’m particularly also concerned about our youth, I believe to transform Nigeria, you have to transform our youth. Take them off the streets. Take them to schools.
“We must invest in our education. We have to introduce entrepreneurship development courses so that those who are not able to go to tertiary Institutions should be useful in one trade or the other.
“I want to assure you that a vote for me is a vote for progress in Nigeria, for stability in Nigeria, for prosperity in our country.”
A day earlier, the Senate President told APC delegates from Niger State that he has all it takes to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari whose tenure comes to an end in May 2023.
“I am equipped. I have experience enough, I have what it takes to be Nigerian President after President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office,” Lawan stated at Minna in Niger state.
Lawan and his campaign team met the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, the delegates to the upcoming APC Presidential primaries and later paid homage to the Emir of Minna, Dr Umar Farouq Bahago.
The lawmaker solicited the votes of the delegates against the background of what he has to offer, his vast experience in governance and the stability that he brought to the parliament.
“For the last three years, I have been the Senate President. I have been able to work very well with all my colleagues regardless of their political parties.
“We have been able to make the Senate very stable, peaceful and very productive and today, we have been able to make so many laws because we are at peace. “It is that type of stability, that type of peace, that kind of unity that I want to bring into the Villa by the Grace of God next year.
“I am running for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because of what I believe in. For me, mandate is service.
“Having served in the Legislature and having been working with Mr President as the Senate President, I therefore get close to governance, a very good participant in governance at the national level.
“I am equipped. I have experience enough, I have what it takes to be Nigerian President after President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office.
“At my age, and I’m a very young man. I’m only 63 years, in between the old and the new. I believe that I can carry the young. And the young is the centre piece of my policy.
“But first let me tell you what I want to do for us. Security. We all know that Niger state has been at the receiving end of insecurity and I know how hard our friend, our Governor has been working to secure the lives of the people of this state.
“The Federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has been doing a lot. We have conquered the Boko Haram in the north east. But we still have challenges in the northwest, in this part of north central.
“It is my intention to continue to work with our President to fight insecurity in every part of Nigeria until he finishes his tenure by the Grace of God on the 29th May, 2023.
“It is my intention to start to serve as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to build on the succeses that our President would achieve when he will leave office.
“I believe that we need to consider the architecture of our security system. I believe in citizens participation in security. You and I, report what you see to the relevant authourities.They say if you see something, say something. If you see bandits, inform the appropriate authourities.
“I want to see a situation where citizens who volunteer information are protected. I want to see a situation where our traditional rulers, the traditional Institutions play a role in securing our communities. They use to do it before. We can bring them back to do it. There is nothing more important to us today in Nigeria than security. That will be my priority.
“I also want to build on the successes of President Muhammadu Buhari on the economy of Nigeria. I believe that it is still not yet what we want but we are better than many countries.
“Finally, Niger state is an Agricultural state. I want a situation where at least every geo-political zone will have one crop that will be nurtured for production, for processing and for marketing.
“That is to say that it is not enough for us in Niger state to produce yam only. We should produce the yam, process the yam and sell with a higher value.I believe that this is one way to deal with the youth unemployment,” Lawan said.
In his response, Governor Sani Bello thanked the Senate President and his team for the visit.
“I think he has laid out his plans for Niger state for you delegates to consider. So that you give him your mandate to represent our party at the next presidential election.
“I don’t need to say much. You all heard when he started. He has been in the National Assembly since 1999. I don’t think anyone has broken that record yet in Nigeria,” Governor Bello said.
The Senate President was accompanied on the trip from Abuja by former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, Ambassador Sam Nkire, Navy Commodore Mohammed Barau, mni and Engineer Isa Ahmed.
A community leader in Niger State has accused the Nigerian Air Force of killing six children and bombing houses in Kurebe, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
According to the spokesperson of the Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA), Salis Sabo, the strikes occurred on April 13.
The Nigerian Air Force is yet to react to the allegation.
“Six children were bombed to pieces by explosion from fighter jet belonging to Nigerian Air Force in Kurebe, Shiroro Local Government of Niger State. The incident happened on Wednesday the 13th of April, 2020, in the morning when the children were coming back to fetch water from a motorized borehole within Kurebe community,” the statement said.
“A man who lost two of his daughters and two grand daughters in the incident said; there was no single bandit within the village at the time the aircraft bombarded the innocent children. He added that the terrorists camps are well known. He said the terrorists around the community are of two groups, with two different camps. One links up with the community through Unguwan Zomo, the other through Kwantan Yashi area. Therefore, they do not understand why fighter jet would be targeting the community where civilians live.
“The person whose house was destroyed narrated their ordeal. He maintained that they are living a life of denial, they are at the mercy of the terrorists as the terrorists come into the community at will, loot their property, raped their daughters, wives and even their mothers. They forced then to live in the village as anyone who attempts to leave will incur the wrath of the terrorists. He added that there was no presence of any security personnel in the area.
“The two other children who lost their lives in the incidents have for long lost their parents. One of them is a daughter to late Malam Isah Kurebe and the other is a daughter to late Malam Adamu Kurebe, who was killed by the terrorists two years ago. The innocent child he left over, has now been taken away by similar fate. This is the second time this type of incident is happening.
“While we continue to vent, spleen, raise dust and even bring down the roof when occasion calls for that, to get the Government do what it has sworn to do. However, the continued pampering of these nefarious vermin who inflict terror straight from gutter will leave us with so much to be inferred.”
At least two persons have been killed following an attack by gunmen on Saturday evening in communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
A statement by the Spokesperson of the Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA), Salis Sabo said the gunmen in their hundreds attacked communities surrounding Gwada town when locals were breaking their fast.
According to Sabo, one policeman and a civilian in Tapila were killed during the attack. He added that two persons were kidnapped including the son of a staff member of the North-South Power of Shiroro Dam and one other girl.
The communities attacked are Chiri, Kwakwa, Jewi and Kadna all of which are located some kilometers from Gwada and the local government headquarters.
The attackers also looted a business center and carted away many phones.
The Police are, however, yet to confirm the attack.
The death toll from a boat accident involving villagers fleeing attacks by gangs in Niger state has risen to 13 after five more bodies were recovered, an emergency services official said Friday.
An overloaded canoe carrying mostly women and children capsized in a river as they were fleeing raids on Guni and Kurgbaku villages in Niger State, Ibrahim Ahmad Inga, head of the state’s emergency management agency said.
Initially, Inga had said the bodies of two women and six children were recovered on Wednesday while the search for five more missing passengers was ongoing.
“The death toll is now 13. Five remaining bodies were recovered from the river late yesterday (Thursday),” Inga said.
“The latest recovery included a woman and four children. In all, three women and 10 children drowned in the mishap,” he said.
Inga blamed the accident on overload and lack of maintenance as the canoe was too old to carry such a number of passengers.
Boat mishaps are common on Nigerian waterways mostly due to overcrowding and bad maintenance, particularly in the rainy season.
The Niger State Government has concluded plans to begin a Youth Talent Hunt Exhibition for 2022 as part of efforts to foster creativity, curb restiveness in the state and reduce crime in the state.
The Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Matane, disclosed this at an event to mark the flag-off of a line-up of youth empowerment activities by Governor Abubakar Bello.
Matane explained that the exhibition is going to be in five categories which include: ICT Design, Automobile Design, Art and Craft, Soccer (Football) and Poem and Recitations as registration will be done both online and manual.
Participants are expected to be between ages 15 and 40 and will be selected from the 25 local government areas of the state.
Also speaking about the initiative, the Coordinator of Youth Empowerment and Mobilisation, Umar Mohammed, stated that the exhibition is aimed at hunting for talents, improving and developing them, and exposing them to the needed market to harness.
He stressed that the overall winner will go home with a brand new car while positions one to three in various categories will win scholarships, cash and other prizes.
To facilitate the process, the government has inaugurated a 13-man committee, and has charged them to do everything possible to ensure that the process is sustained.
Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) has commenced four days of free medical outreach targeted at 1,000 beneficiaries per center in the six states of the commission.
The Managing Director, HYPPADEC, Abubakar Yelwa, disclosed this while speaking with journalists during the official flag-off at Makunkele in Bosso local government area of Niger State, assuring to make the service available on a quarterly basis.
According to Yelwa, the program which will include medical checks, eye screening and surgeries, is going on simultaneously in about 60 locations in six states as part of efforts to alleviate the plight of communities in rural areas or difficult terrains where they may be lacking access to qualified doctors.
He further explained that this became necessary following the realisation that people do not have access to specialist medical attention with consultants and professionals in different diseases as well as long-distance to access secondary health facilities.
“That’s why we’ve decided to mobilise specialists, consultants, and professionals in different fields to come to the doorstep to look at individual cases and see how their health problems will be addressed”.
He advised the residents to take advantage of the opportunity that the intervention will provide.
The Emir of Minna, Umar Faruq Bahago appreciated the gesture while calling for it to be sustained over time. He also commended Yelwa for “exemplary leadership”.