Buhari Mourns Victims Of Boat Mishap

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during the registration and revalidation exercise of the All Progressives Congress on January 30, 2021.
File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the victims boat which capsized at Corner Libata in Ingaski Local Government Area of Kebbi State

Buhari in a statement issued on Wednesday by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, commiserated with the families of the victims.

More than 150 people were missing and feared drowned in northwest Nigeria after an overloaded boat ferrying passengers to a market sank in the Niger River, local officials said.

The boat was travelling between central Niger state and Wara in northwest Kebbi state when it went down, National Inland Waterways Authority local manager Yusuf Birma told reporters.

Reacting, President Buhari described the news of the capsizing as devastating, offering his heartfelt condolences to the families of those affected by this tragedy.

READ ALSO: At Least 100 Missing As Boat Capsizes In Niger

According to the President’s spokesman, there are indications that the boat was overloaded and there is no official confirmation on the number of casualties.

“While efforts are ongoing to recover more survivors, the President extends his gratitude to all those involved in the rescue efforts and wishes those injured from the accident quick recovery,” the statement partly read.

The passengers were said to be heading to a market in Malele in Borgu local government area of Niger state when the boat sank an hour into the journey.

Local district administrator Abdullahi Buhari Wara earlier blamed the accident on overloading as the boat was meant to ferry no more than 80 passengers.

Boat tragedies are common on Nigerian waterways mostly due to overcrowding, bad weather and lack of maintenance, but Wednesday’s toll would be one of the deadliest recent accidents.

“The vessel was also loaded with bags of sand from a gold mine,” he said.

Early this month 30 people drowned when an overloaded boat capsized in Niger state.

The boat ferrying 100 local traders split into two after hitting a stump during a storm as they were returning from a local market, according to emergency officials.

The Niger is West Africa’s main river running in a crescent through Guinea to Nigeria’s Niger Delta and is a key local trade route for some of the countries.

 

Police Station Burnt Amid Protest In Niger

A photo taken on May 24, 2021, shows the scene of the protest by residents of Gauraka community in Niger State. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

A police station has been burnt amid a protest by residents of Gauraka in Tafa Local Government Area of Niger State.

This followed an attack by gunmen on Angwan-Wazobia community on Monday where six locals were abducted by the assailants.

Wasiu Abiodun, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, confirmed the attack on the community and the station in a statement.

Channels Television had reported the demonstration by residents of Gauraka who blocked the Abuja – Kaduna highway to protest the incessant cases of kidnapping in the community.

During the protests, the protesters burned tyres as they called for improved security in the area, as well as an end to incessant attacks on their community.

They lamented that no fewer than 15 locals have been abducted between Saturday and Sunday, and three others have lost their lives.

On his part, Abiodun noted that the command had deployed operatives in the area, but he blamed the protesters for the attack on the police outpost.

“Niger State Police Command wishes to confirm that today being 24th May 2021 at about 0300hrs, unknown gunmen attacked the residents of Angwan-Wazobia in Gauraka area of Tafa LGA where about six persons were abducted.

“Teams of policemen were mobilised to the scene and efforts to rescue the victims are being intensified,” he said.

The command’s spokesman alleged, “However, at about 0635hrs of the same date, some miscreants blocked both sides of Abuja – Kaduna expressway, protesting the recent cases of kidnapping in the community.

“The miscreants later extended the protest to Gauraka Police outpost, vandalised and set it ablaze.”

According to him, efforts are ongoing to disperse the protesters from the highway to ease the flow of traffic on the road.

Abiodun noted that the command has dispatched reinforcement from Minna, the state capital to the Area Police Command in Suleja, as well as a joint task force from the Minna – Suleja highway to restore normalcy on the Abuja – Kaduna expressway.

He called on parents, guardians, and community leaders in the area to caution their children/wards against engaging in acts of public disturbance.

The command’s spokesman gave an assurance that the police would continue the onslaught against criminal elements in the state.

Niger Governor, Cabinet Members Take Second Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine

In this file photo, a vial containing the COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and a syringe are seen on a table. AFP
In this file photo, a vial containing the COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and a syringe are seen on a table. AFP

 

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has received the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as the state government flags off the second phase of the exercise.

He took the jab on Thursday along with his deputy and members of the State Executive Council who attended the weekly council meeting at the Government House in Minna, the state capital.

Speaking after receiving the second jab, Governor Bello noted that turnout for the first phase of the vaccination exercise was impressive.

He encouraged those who took the first dose to ensure they receive the second jab and called on those who have yet to take the first dose to endeavour they do so as soon as they can.

“I want to assure everyone that the vaccine is safe, I encourage you to take it. It will keep you and your loved ones at least safe; the older ones, especially should take it,” the governor said.

He had received the first dose of the vaccine on March 9 and directed all the State Executive Council members to take the vaccine or not be allowed into the weekly meetings of the council.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health and Hospital Services in Niger, Dr Muhammad Makusidi, said the state has received a total of 89,600 doses as of May 20.

He explained that 44,860 doses were used in the first phase, stressing that enough doses were available for the second phase of the vaccination exercise.

The commissioner gave an assurance that all eligible persons for the second dose would be administered the vaccine.

Giving a brief on the current status of the state on COVID-19, he noted that Niger has confirmed 930 positive cases, including 66 health workers and 20 deaths.

Makusidi, however, stated that there has not been any positive case in the state in the last two months, saying the government has continued to carry out measures to combat the further spread of the disease.

Banditry: Niger Governor Meets With Security Agencies, Stakeholders

File photo of Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State.

 

 

The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello on Tuesday met with security agencies and relevant stakeholders on how to curb banditry and address the insecurity in the state.

Bello who pointed out that he has monitored the movement of the IDPs said there was no cause for alarm as everything was moving smoothly.

“I am happy to announce that we have seen tremendous improvement, a lot of IDPs have gradually moved to their villages especially in Shiroro, Munya and Mariga local governments.

“We have at least 25 communities that have relocated back to their various homes”, he said.

He however said the successes recorded is not the absence of security threat in some communities, but that the security agents are working tirelessly to curtail the situation.

“It doesn’t mean we still do not have some challenges, we have a few communities under threat but the security agencies are doing their best to contain the situation”, he stated.

The Governor reported the death of three soldiers in Magama local government, adding that some bandits were killed too and two bodies recovered while security agencies were trailing the rest of the bandits with the hope that the culprits will be arrested.

He said with more security personnel deployed by the Federal Government to the state, more grounds will be covered.

The Governor allayed the fears of food shortage in the state stressing that the IDPs that were returned to their homes are major Agricultural producing areas believing that they will engage in their farming activities immediately.

The Governor commended the efforts of the service chiefs at the federal and heads of security in the state for their efforts in the fight against banditry activities in the State.

On youth restiveness in the state capital, Governor Sani Bello gave a stern warning that any youth caught with dangerous weapons will face the full wrath of the law.

“We discussed youthful restiveness in the state and have taken a decision to deal decisively with anyone found carrying any form of machetes, cutlass, creating havoc within Minna Central”, he said.

He described the situation as unfortunate where gang youths engaging themselves in a brawl on streets, attacking innocent people, adding that any youths that is arrested henceforth on thuggery and all forms of gangsterism will have him or themselves to blame

Governor Bello, Others Hold Special Prayer For Security In Niger

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, attends a special prayer session at the Central Mosque in Minna on May 9, 2021.

 

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, and some stakeholders in the state have held a special prayer for peace across the eight emirates in the state.

The prayer organised to seek God’s intervention to end insecurity in Niger held on Sunday at the Central Mosque in Minna, the state capital.

Shortly after the prayer, Governor Bello reiterated the need for the people not to relent in fervent prayers to God.

He, however, gave an assurance that the government at the federal and state levels would not leave any stone unturned towards ending the security challenges in the state.

The governor noted that significant progress has been made towards restoring normalcy to the troubled areas, stating that the prayer session would continue even after the Ramadan fast.

“We encourage everyone, every stakeholder, every person to support the effort of the state and Federal Government with prayers and with God, I believe anything is possible,” he said.

On his part, the Director-General of Religious Affairs in Niger, Umar Farouq, believes the insecurity in the state requires divine intervention.

He said it was time for people of the state to come together to ask God for mercy and be of good conduct.

Farouq, who is also the Secretary of Niger State Imam Forum, called on the criminals to repent from their act, surrender their weapons, and return to God.

He stressed that engaging in criminal activities was against the teachings of Islam, especially in a situation where innocent people were the ones being targeted.

The special prayer led by the Chief Imam of Minna Central Mosque, Ibrahim Fari, also featured recitation of some verses from the Holy Qur’an.

Some of the other dignitaries in attendance included top government officials, traditional leaders, Islamic clerics, and other Muslim faithful in the state.

24-Year-Old Undergraduate Nabbed For Selling Drugs On Campus

The student, Abel Godwin Idio arrested by the NDLEA operatives.

 

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a 24-year-old undergraduate Abel Godwin Idio for selling hard drugs.

In a series of tweet on Monday, the anti-narcotics agency said the suspect is a 400-level student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna who allegedly sold “two strong variants of cannabis, Arizona and loud, concealed in textbooks.”

According to the NDLEA Commander in Niger State, Haruna Kwetishe, the undergraduate was arrested in Gidan Kwano within the vicinity of the university.

“Abel uses the inner pages of his textbooks to conceal the drugs within the campus to sell,” he said adding that was quizzed on Friday.

READ ALSO: NDLEA Nabs Two Suspects For Selling Cannabis Cookies To School Children

Two other traffickers – Yahaya Joshua and Yahaya Audu – were also apprehended the previous day along Mokwa-Jebba road with 32kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativa.

 

Similarly, operatives of the agency raided some eateries in Jos, the Plateau state capital where freshly baked cakes made with Cannabis Sativa were recovered in addition to 48.726kilogrammes of assorted psychotropic substances.

Some of the joints raided include KNL Lounge located along Lamingo road and another branch along Mining Quarters, Rantya Low-Cost estate, as well as Tuscany Lounge on Azaki Ave, all within Jos metropolis.

Besides the drugged cakes called brownie recovered from the three eateries, psychotropic substances also seized from there include Barcadin Codeine 14kg; Flunitrazapem 355.5grammes; Tramadol 370.1 grammes; Exol-5, 30kg; Diazepam 2.5kg and Pentazocine 1.5 kg, totalling 48.726kg.

The NDLEA Commander in Plateau State, Ibrahim Braji disclosed that five persons have so far been arrested in connection to the seized drugs.

In the same vein, Enugu State Command of the Agency over the weekend raided the Nsukka axis of the state capital where a 28-year-old lady, Oodo Ndidiamaka was arrested with 80.23grammes of cocaine and 3.81grammes of methamphetamine.

The state Commander of NDLEA, Abdul Abdullahi said the Command remained committed to unravelling other members of the drug cartel in the state.

‘Nobody Is Safe Anymore’, Gov Bello Confirms Boko Haram Invasion In Parts Of Niger

 

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, confirmed that Boko Haram insurgents in Kauri Community of Shiroro Local Government Area have hoisted their flag.

“…I just heard they have already placed their flag in Kauri which means they have taken over the territory”, he lamented

Governor Bello confirmed the presence of the insurgents in the community on Monday.

He warned that the Boko Haram terrorists are trying to make Kauri their home and headquarters as they did to Sambisa forest, adding that while Sambisa forest is several kilometres away from Abuja, Kauri is only two hours’ drive to Abuja.

According to the governor, the terrorists and bandits displaced the residents at IBB Central Primary School Minna, in the company of his Deputy, Ahmed Kesto and Emir of Minna, Dr. Umar Faruq.

He described the situation as critical and terrible, noting that is high time for well-coordinated actions in order to address the problem.

“We have over 3,000 people here from communities that have been displaced by bandits and Boko Haram elements around Munya and Shiroro Local Government Areas,” he said.

“However, some of them have started going to their various homes. There are some other communities that we think are safe but a vast majority of them will have to remain here because their villages and towns have been taken over by the Boko Haram elements.

“Their wives have been forcefully attached to Boko Haram elements. ”

READ ALSO: Boko Haram Hoists Flag In Some Parts Of Yobe Community

He explained that his administration has been engaging the federal government to come to the aid of the state in dealing with the insecurity, noting that such efforts have not yielded desired results thereby making it possible for the terrorists to now occupy areas of the state.

He said, “I have been engaging the Federal Government and unfortunately it has gotten to this stage and if care is not taken even Abuja is not safe. We have been saying this for long and all efforts have been in vain.”

While lamenting the worsening security in the state and country, he called for a coordinated military action to flush out the terrorists and bandits in Niger State.

Addressing the governor at the IDPs camp, a Youth Leader, Bulus Esu said his people in Kuchi, one of the most populated towns in Munya Local Government, have been locked down by the terrorists for the past three weeks.

“For three weeks now, there is no person living in Kuchi town and there is no food for the fleeing villagers. The bandits have entered very deep into the area and have overrun several villages. They have occupied Kuchi where they now sleep as their homes,” Esu said.

He noted that bandits had demanded five million naira ransom from the people of Kampana to bail themselves from being kidnapped, adding that “the people did this to avoid kidnap. However, when they came back the next time, they asked the women to cook food for them after which they still raped the women.”

This comes a day after the terrorists hoisted their flag in some parts of the Geidam community, in Yobe state.

Also on April 24, they attacked Geidam local government area of the state, the hometown of the acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba.

Nigeria has been experiencing a series of security threats ranging from terrorism, banditry, militancy, cultism among others in several parts of the country.

The country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the northeast.

The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.

On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.

Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.

Police Parade Suspected Robbers, Rapist Who Lured Victims With Bread

Nine suspected armed robbers are paraded at the Niger State Police Command Headquarters in Minna, the state capital on April 21, 2021.

 

The Niger State Police Command has paraded nine suspects arrested in different locations for their involvement in various robbery attacks in the state.

Those arrested include Abdul Mohammad, Amos Oyerinde, Yahaya Jibrin, Abubakar Sadiq, Mohammad Abdullahi, Chibuzor Bernard, Mohammad Usman, Abdulrahman Ali, and William Godwin.

Parading the suspects at the Police Headquarters in Minna on Wednesday, the Public Relations Officer of the command, Wasiu Abiodun, noted that six cars were recovered during investigations.

He explained that Abdul, Amos, Yahaya, and Abubakar confessed to have actively participated in some of the recent robberies in the state capital.

The command’s spokesman added that Abdullahi, Chibuzor, Usman, and Abdulrahman were receivers and transporters of stolen vehicles while Godwin was arrested with a revolver pistol that was given to him by two of the suspects.

Four of the six cars recovered from the suspects are paraded at the Niger State Police Command Headquarters in Minna, the state capital on April 21, 2021.

 

He noted that the command received complaints of robbery attacks in areas of Farm Centre, Minna, NITECO Tunga, and Bida where six vehicles were stolen.

Abiodun said the command deployed its operatives to go after the suspects, leading to their arrest in Bida and Minna in Niger, as well as Abuja and Sokoto State.

He also paraded 40-year-old Festus Okeke of Ishau village in Kafin Koro in Paikoro Local Government Area of the state.

Okeke alleged to have lured four girls into his shop and had canal knowledge of two of them.

He was said to have fiddled with the private part of the other two girls who were between 10 and 13 years.

According to the command’s spokesman, the suspect lured the victims with N200 and loaves of bread to commit the crime.

Nineteen Civilians Killed In New West Niger Attack

A google map of the Republic of Niger, a country in West Africa.

 

 

Nineteen civilians were killed when armed men raided a village in west Niger close to the border with Mali, a local official told AFP on Sunday, in the latest bloodshed in the troubled region.

“For the moment, the number of dead stands at 19 and two people have been wounded in an attack by armed men on motorbikes in the village of Gaigorou” in the Tillaberi region on Saturday evening, said the municipal official from Dessa.

An unknown number of unidentified assailants, known locally as bandits, initially attacked people attending a funeral at a cemetery, before going on to the village where they “shot at everyone they saw,” the official said.

READ ALSO: Family Of Eight Killed In Afghanistan Mosque Shooting

The Tillaberi region is situated on the lawless “three-border” zone where the frontiers of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso converge and has regularly been the target of jihadist groups affiliated to the Islamic State group.

“What concerns us a lot is this escalation of violence and insecurity that is recently taking place in the region,” Tillaberi governor Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella said in March, pointing to the increased imposition of Islamic taxes by militants, theft of livestock, and violence against civilians.

Thirteen people were killed last month when armed men on motorbikes raided the villages of Zibane-Koira Zeno, Zibane Koira-Tegui and Gadabo.

Attacks against civilians have increased since the beginning of the year — more than 300 people died in three series of attacks in the western Niger. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far.

AFP

Buhari Mourns Children Killed In Niger School Fire

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned over 20 schoolchildren killed in a fire incident in Niamey, Niger Republic.

Buhari in a statement issued on Friday by his spokesman Garba Shehu, commiserated with the government and people of the Niger Republic, describing the tragedy as extremely terrific.

“On behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, we commiserate with our brotherly neighbours on this tragic loss,” a message to President Mohammed Bazoum read.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families and communities affected by this unfortunate incident, wishing quick recovery to those who were injured.”

READ ALSO: How 20 Children Died In Niger School Inferno – Witnesses

No fewer than 20 children died on April 13 after they were trapped in a fire at a school in the country’s capital.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire started late on Tuesday afternoon when the children were in lessons, many in straw-hut classrooms.

The flames blocked the school gate, so most pupils had to escape over a wall, said a teacher’s union official quoted by Reuters.

Most of those who did not manage to escape were attending the school’s nursery, officials say.

How 20 Children Died In Niger School Inferno – Witnesses

A google map of the Republic of Niger, a country in West Africa.

 

A total of 20 pre-school children – aged between three and five years – lost their lives to a horrific fire that broke out at a school in the Republic of Niger.

The incident which occurred on Tuesday in an impoverished area on the outskirts of Niamey, the country’s capital has left dozens of parents and teachers with uncontrollable tears and agony.

The victims perished when the fire tore through the classrooms made of wood and straw, witnesses said.

“The little children, innocents, were really burned alive in this fire,” the school’s director Habiba Gaya told AFP on Wednesday as she wiped away large tears with her veil.

She lamented that while older children were able to make it out of the burning huts, it was unfortunate that those aged five and below could not.

“They were little, so they weren’t able to run,” Gaya added, saying all of Niger was in total mourning.

The tragedy took place in the poor “Pays-Bas” neighbourhood that was built in a former clay quarry near Niamey airport.

Although the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, security forces have blocked off the scene as investigators searched for evidence.

 

‘Answering The Call Of Death’

Residents, some with their heads in their hands, gathered in anguish behind police tape to look over what was left of the school buildings.

From the view, only the remains of desks and corrugated metal sheets were still visible among the debris, with charred books, pencil cases, and backpacks scattered among the ashes.

“The flames were carried from classroom to classroom by the wind,” said Balaraba Ibrahim, an aunt to five-year-old Yasmina who was among those who perished in the flames.

Ibrahim who lives nearby said Yasmina had come home and then she went back to school.

“It’s almost as if she was answering the call of death,” Ibrahim said as she broke down in tears.

The mother of another victim, seated in the courtyard near other more solidly built classrooms that escaped damage, struggled to accept her loss.

“Allah wanted this to happen and there is nothing we can do about it,” she said, clutching prayer beads.

The Fire Service Commander in Niger, Sidi Mohamed, also confirmed that around 20 children were trapped in the blaze.

He noted that rescuers set off rapidly and the fire was put out, but the intensity of the fire was enormous.

Niger, which ranks as the poorest country in the world under the UN’s 189-nation Human Development Index, often resorts to putting classrooms in makeshift huts where children sometimes sit on the floor.

Man Kills Wife After Argument Over Pap In Niger State

The 20-year-old suspect being paraded by the Niger State Police Command afer allegedly killing his wife.

 

A 20-year-old man, Lawali Danladi has allegedly killed his wife after an argument over pap in Rafi Lafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed this on Wednesday via a statement issued to Channels Television.

Danladi who hailed from Kadaura village via Yakila Gunna district was arrested, while the victim, Zulai Lawal was said to have died after being beaten to a coma.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Catholic Priest In Kaduna

“On 26/03/2021 at about 0900hrs, based on credible information, Police Operatives attached to Kagara Division arrested one Lawali Danladi age 20yrs ‘m’ of Kadaura village via Yakila Gunna district of Rafi LGA,” the statement read.

“The suspect was arrested to have allegedly killed his wife, one Zulai ‘f’ of same address over a misunderstanding in which he beat the victim to coma and as a result, she died on the spot.”

“During interrogation, the suspect confessed to have beaten the victim due to a mere pap argument and fell unconscious, she was rushed to General Hospital Wushishi where she was confirmed dead, however, the investigation has commenced and the suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed.”