2023: Tinubu Donates N50m To Victims Of Banditry In Niger State

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

 

Former Governor of Lagos State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has donated the sum of N50 million to families of victims of the recent killings by bandits on communities in Niger State this month alone.

Tinubu, who made the donation on Thursday when he paid a visit to the state, decried the security situation in the country and said it can be fixed with prayers and self-belief.

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

He asked Nigerians not to see the nation’s security challenges as a hopeless situation.

“We share in your grief, I am here for the people of Niger State, hearing and reading of disasters, banditry and cattle rustling every day, just like what happened on Wednesday again,” he said.

In his remarks, Governor Abubakar Bello endorsed the presidential aspirations of the National Leader of the APC ahead of the 2023 Presidential election.

While receiving Tinubu at the Niger State Government House, said he is looking forward to seeing him lay the kind of foundation he laid for the massive transformation in Lagos for Nigeria.

“Lagos is a country within a country, and we saw the foundation you laid there, we are looking forward to seeing you replicate it for Nigeria,” he said.

Bello who appreciated the former Lagos state Governor for sympathising with the State government and people over the incessant banditry attacks.

On the security situation in the state, the governor said no where is safe in the country and recounted how some villagers in Mashegu were murdered in cold blood by bandits while observing their early morning prayers in the Mosque.

He stated, “Where are we safe, in a place of worship, people can be killed. We are not dealing with human beings, but people whose heart has been cemented for evil, no amount of talking or dialogue can change them.

“Recently, they went to a village while they were observing their early morning prayers. They locked the door and started shooting indiscriminately, killing 18 and only those that forced the door open survived and few days later they did same in another village.”

He appealed to the Federal Government to change its approach to the ongoing war against banditry and terrorism, calling for a technological driven warfare, rather than conventional approach.

“We don’t fight conventional warfare. Let’s use technology even though it is expensive, the situation can be addressed that way

“The era of sending soldiers to the forest is over when we can deploy drones to monitor movement of bandits and hit target effortlessly,” he added.

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.”

Niger Governor Bello Asks Security Agencies To Rescue Abducted Chinese Nationals

A file photo of Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State.

 

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello has asked the security agencies to rescue the abducted Chinese Nationals working at the Sino-Hydro Electric Power Dam Zungeru, Wushishi Local Government Area of the state.

Gunmen had stormed the facility on Wednesday, abducting three Chinese workers. They also killed some guards working in the power dam.

In a statement issued on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel-Berje, the governor condemned the attack, wondering how the gunmen were able to access the facility despite the presence of security operatives.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct Chinese Workers, Kill Security Guards At Hydropower Dam In Niger State

According to Governor Bello, the attack is really disturbing as it would cause some setbacks to the Zungeru Dam project which the Federal government has been making efforts to complete in record time.

“It really saddened my heart to hear about this attack. It is even more worrisome to know that the lives of the labourers were involved. This action might negatively affect the completion of the Zungeru Dam which is of great significance to the country,” the governor was quoted as saying.

“My heart goes out to the family of the labourers that were killed and those that are injured; I pray that Allah will grant them quick recovery.

He also prayed that God will forgive the deceased and grant them eternal rest.

The governor also reiterated the need for the security agents to go all out to bring the criminal activities in some parts of the state, especially now that the perpetrators have recently been declared as terrorists by the Federal Government.

This is even as he commended the efforts of the security personnel who engaged the terrorists.

NMA, Group To Offer Free Medical Services To The Less Privileged In Niger

Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.
Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.

 

The Nigerian Medical Association in partnership with Concern Group has commenced free medical outreach for the less privileged in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State.

Speaking during the flag-off of the exercise at the Maikunkele Primary Health Care Center, NMA Chairman in the state, Dr Abubakar Bosso, said the association provided the technical support while the group however provided all the logistics and finances for the program.

He noted that the annual medical outreach has witnessed a large turnout this year due to awareness and trust of quality services offered during the exercise in the last four years.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Appoints Doyin Salami As Chief Economic Adviser

In his remark, the Coordinator of the exercise, Bala Ahmed, said that the group which started the initiative in 2007, consisting of youths and civil servants from the community who contributed from their income to offer various services to the people free of charge due to high poverty.

Some beneficiaries of the programme, Aliyu Yusuf and Jummai Mohammed, told Channels Television that they were grateful for the free medical programme and called on individuals, local and state governments to emulate the kind gesture.

This is even as the District Head of Maikunkele, Suleiman Dada, appreciated the gesture offered to his people.

He, however, appealed for the timely completion of the council Primary Health Care facility that is currently at 60 percent completion over the years.

The medical services offered at the ongoing outreach include sicknesses free tests for hypertension, diabetes, malaria as well as free dental and surgical operation for hernia and lipoma among others.

Governor Bello Mourns Victims Of Niger Boat Mishap

Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.
Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.

 

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has mourned the victims of a boat mishap at Zhigiri village in Shiroro Local Government of the state.

No fewer than seven persons lost their lives on Sunday when the villagers were heading to Dnaweto – a neighboring village in the hinterland for a naming ceremony.

Three days after the incident, the governor said he was saddened by the accident, describing it as painful and unfortunate.

He commiserated with the families of the victims and prayed to God to forgive their shortcomings and grant them eternal rest.

READ ALSO: Seven Die In Niger State Boat Mishap

“I am really sad with the unfortunate boat mishap,” the Governor said. “Measures need to be put in place to really avoid reoccurrence.

“It is good to have the dam, it is also important to protect the people living around the dam. My prayers are with the family members of the victims. I urge them to accept the incident as an act of Allah.”

The governor observed that the construction of the Zungeru Dam has forced the residents of the affected communities to adopt water transportation.

He, therefore, called on the Hydro Power Producing Area Development Commission (HYPPADEC) to as a matter of urgency, provide safety kits such as life jackets, and sensitise members of affected communities on water transportation.

While acknowledging that the Zungeru Dam was to boost power generation in the country, the governor said the people living in communities around the dam must be protected.

The governor equally gave an assurance that the state government would not leave any stone unturned in ensuring that all necessary measures were put in place to prevent a reoccurrence of the incident.

Gunmen Kill Over 10 Worshipers In Niger State

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Gunmen suspected to be armed bandits have stormed Ba’are village in Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State, killing over 10 worshipers in a mosque.

The worshipers were killed while observing Subhi prayer on Wednesday morning.

The gunmen invaded the mosque with different kinds of weapons and ordered them to remain in their positions.

It was gathered that the gunmen came into the village on motorcycles with sophisticated weapons and positioned themselves at the entrance of the mosque before they started killing the worshipers.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kill Commissioner In Katsina

Channels Television also learnt that the worshipers were on the last Raka’at of the prayer when the gunmen opened fire on them with nine people sustaining varying degrees of injuries.

It was further gathered that the gunmen on their arrival, blocked the entrances of the mosque and started shooting into the air, forcing the worshipers to run for their safety.

The Commissioner of Police, Niger State Command, Bala Kuryas, confirmed the report but said only nine persons were killed by the gunmen.

He said the command has already mobilized his men to track down the hoodlums with the aim of bringing them to book.

12 Niger Republic Soldiers Killed In Battle With ‘Terrorists’

Niger or the Niger, officially the Republic of the Niger, is a landlocked country in West Africa named after the Niger River.
Niger or the Niger, officially the Republic of the Niger, is a landlocked country in West Africa named after the Niger River.

 

At least 12 soldiers and “dozens of terrorists” were killed in a battle in western Niger, the defence ministry announced Sunday, in the conflict-wracked “three borders” zone. 

Another eight soldiers were wounded in the clash with “hundreds of armed terrorists” five kilometres (three miles) from Fantio, said the ministry statement.

Several motorbikes used by the attackers had been destroyed and communications equipment recovered, the statement added.

READ ALSO: President Barrow Wins Second Term In Gambia Election

The soldiers had “defended themselves ferociously” killing dozens of the attackers before being overwhelmed by their numbers, said the ministry.

Reinforcements from nearby positions and air support had finally forced the enemy to retreat.

Fantio is a small rural community in the Tera district of Tillaberio region regularly targetted by jihadist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group.

Five villagers were killed and two others seriously wounded in an attack there in May during the Muslim festival of Eid at the end of the Ramadan, said the ministry.

In late June two civilians, a school director, and a retired police inspector were killed during another raid, during which their killers also stole livestock.

As well as the attacks from jihadist groups such as Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS) in the west of the country, Niger also has to contend with Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the southwest of the country, near the border with Nigeria.

The arid Sahel state is the world’s poorest country according to the UN’s Human Development Index.

AFP

PHOTOS: Many Travellers Stranded As Bandits Block Road In Niger

The busy Kontagora-Minna Road in Niger State was blocked by bandits on December 4, 2021.

 

An unspecified number of armed bandits on Saturday blocked the Kontagora-Minna Road in Niger State, causing gridlock in the area.

This left many vehicles and travellers stranded around the Yakila and Garun Gabas areas near Kundu in Rafi Local Government Area of the state.

Sources told Channels Television that the blockage of the road lasted about one hour and there were no security personnel to clear the road in the area at the time.

READ ALSO: Bandits Free 65 Kidnapped Baptist Church Members, Others In Kaduna

 

Travellers were left stranded on December 4, 2021, when bandits blocked the busy Kontagora-Minna Road in Niger State.

 

Travellers were said to have fled into nearby villages as they could not continue their journey over fears of being kidnapped by the armed men.

Despite this, the bandits reportedly abducted an undisclosed number of persons and moved them to an unknown destination.

But witnesses said a team of security operatives later arrived at the scene to clear the road in a bid to ensure it was safe for travellers and motorists.

Banditry: Niger Govt Bans Sale Of Motorcycles Across State

A file photo of motorcycles recovered from suspects.

 

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has ordered the immediate ban on the sale of motorcycles across the state.

This follows the incessant security challenges in parts of the state, in addition to the demands for motorcycles as ransom by bandits and kidnappers in recent times.

The Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Matane, announced the ban in a statement on Saturday in Minna, the state capital.

He explained that the state government announced the additional measure to eradicate the activities of criminals and tackle bandits and kidnappers who have continued to attack innocent residents in the state.

The government, Matane stated, has condemned in strong terms the degree of carnage and pandemonium bandits and kidnappers have caused in some parts of the state and reiterated its continued determination to rid the state of any security threat.

“Government is aware of the inconveniences the measure would cause the people, but the decision was taken in the overall interest of the state and appeals to the dealers of motorcycles across the state to cooperate with the directive,” he said.

READ ALSO: ‘Okadas Being Used For Crime’: Lagos Crushes Over 400 Motorcycles

The SSG also called on the people of the state to cooperate with the security agencies on the measures put in place to put an end to the activities of criminal elements, saying it was for the benefit of all and sundry.

He said the government has also ordered security agencies in the state to ensure effective and strict compliance and enforcement of the ban.

Similarly, Matane reaffirmed that the activities of commercial motorcycle riders, popularly known as okada or Kabu-Kabu in Niger, as well as the operation of illegal garages, remained banned in Minna metropolis and its environs.

The ban comes after the state government restricted the movement of all motorcycles from 6pm to 6am – a directive that is still in force.

One Killed, 30 Kidnapped As Bandits Attack Niger Community

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

One person has been killed while 30 others have been kidnapped as armed bandits invaded the Zazzaga community in Zazzaga Ward, Munya Local Government Area of Niger State.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Bala Kuryas, confirmed the attack to Channels Television in his office on Wednesday, saying it happened in the early hours of the day.

“Police are already on the trail of the attackers to rescue the kidnapped victims unhurt,” the Commissioner said.

READ ALSO: Suspected Ambazonian Soldiers From Cameroon Kill 11 In Taraba

But contrary, to police report, the Secretary of Munya Local Government, Mr James Jagaba in another telephone interview said 68 persons were kidnapped including women and children, while one person was killed with three others injured.

“They came in large numbers when the victims were sleeping and took control of the community. One person was killed, three were shot while 68 persons were kidnapped,” he said.

Another source from the community who spoke in confidence via telephone said the armed bandits operated from one house to another.

The source said: “a hunter was shot dead during gun battle with the criminals. We don’t know the whereabouts of the kidnapped persons. Security personnel comprising the police, military and vigilantes have been deployed to the community.”

Bandits Abduct Four Persons In Niger

Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.
Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.

 

Four persons were kidnapped on Sunday night after bandits invaded Tegina, a village in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

Sources told Channels Television that the bandits, who came in their numbers, were well armed with AK47s.

They arrived in the town at about 9 pm and went to a sachet water factory directly opposite Government Girls’ Secondary School and kidnapped the factory owner and three others.

READ ALSO: 15 Killed As Bandits Attack Two LGs In Sokoto

“They took us unawares because they came on foot. We just heard gunshots and we ran for our lives. They went to the sachet water factory where four persons were taken away,” one of the sources said.

When contacted the Niger State Commissioner of Police, CP Bala Kuryas confirmed the incident.

He however disclosed that one of those kidnapped managed to escape.

He also stated that the police are on top of the situation to get those involved arrested as soon as possible.

Classroom Fire: Buhari Condoles With Niger President Over Death Of 25 Children

File photo: Republic of Niger President, Mohammed Bazoum and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent his condolence to his Niger Republic counterpart Mohammed Bazoum over the death of 25 school children, aged five and six years, during a classroom fire outbreak in the Maradi region of the country.

Buhari’s condolence was conveyed in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Wednesday.

“I’m greatly shocked and deeply touched by this tragedy that took the lives of these school children,” Shehu’s statement quoted Buhari as saying, adding that “the death of these children in these circumstances is particularly moving.

“My heart and prayers go out to the government and the people of Niger Republic as well as the grieving parents of these innocent children.”

READ ALSO: Dozens Dead In Niger Republic Attack

Tragic Recurrence

At least 26 children aged between five and six burnt to death on Monday when their straw and wood classrooms caught fire in southern Niger, seven months after a similar tragedy in the capital Niamey.

“Right now, we have 26 dead and 13 injured, four of them seriously,” said Chaibou Aboubacar, mayor of Maradi city.

Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, has tried to fix shortages of school buildings by constructing thousands of straw and woodsheds to serve as classrooms, with children sometimes sitting on the ground.

Fires in the highly flammable classrooms are common but rarely result in casualties.

Three days of mourning have been declared in the Maradi region from Tuesday.

Twenty children were burnt to death in a school fire in a working-class district of Niamey in April.

“This tragic event once again puts the Nigerien people in mourning,” the government said in a statement and added that straw and wood classrooms would henceforth be banned across the country.

Issoufou Arzika, secretary-general of the Niger Teachers’ Union, told AFP that Monday’s fire had “decimated” the school in Maradi.

Arzika said his union had alerted officials to the danger of the straw and wood classrooms after the Niamey fire.

“It is better to hold classes under trees than in straw huts, which have become flammable graves for pupils,” he said.

President Mohamed Bazoum recently promised to replace the wooden structures.