Gunmen Kill Two In Niger State


Gunmen have killed two persons and injured one person at Erena community in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

In the renewed attack, the gunmen also rustled at least 2,000 cattle.

Confirming the attack, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Wasiu Abiodun said the incident took place at about 7:00 am on Sunday.

He, however, said a combined security force has been dispatched to the area to restore normalcy.

Channels Television gathered that bandits numbering over 100 stormed the area on motorbikes, shooting sporadically thereby leading to the death of the victims who are two villagers.

This is the third attack in less than two weeks in Shiroro LGA.

Since the renewed attacks, at least nine persons have been killed and at least over 3,000 persons displaced from their homes.

Some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are currently being camped at Bosso Primary school in Minna the state capital while at least 1,500 others are camped at the Central Primary School Kuta.

Earlier last week, the Senator representing Niger East, Mohammed Sani Musa appealed to the Federal Government to establish a permanent Military Base in Shiroro.

He had also raised fears that the attacks could exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 especially in IDPs camps where social distancing are mostly not observed.

“The on and off operations by security agencies in the affected communities cannot solve the problem. The bandits know when troops are around and when they are not.

“As soon as they know the troops are withdrawn, that’s when they strike. So, the solution is to establish a permanent Base for the military in the areas.

“Their presence no doubt will scare off the hoodlums and consequently stem the tide of criminality,” the Senator said.

Banditry: Over 1,000 Women, Children Displaced In Niger State


Not less than one thousand persons, mostly children and women have been displaced following attacks by bandits on several communities in Shiroro local government area of Niger State.

The recent attacks, which began on January 14, have also left a village head and one other person dead.

According to the locals, the attackers stormed Masuku, Zongoro, Maguga, Magami, and Kwaki and started opening fire in the air.

They also say the attackers abducted some thirty persons.

Channels Television crew visited the IDP camp at Kuta on Saturday, where members of the affected communities are taking shelter at the Dr. Idris Ibrahim Primary School.

At the time of our visit, more people were still arriving the camp.

Some of the displaced women and children at the Niger camp

The Director-General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Ahmed Inga who led officials of the agency to take food items and other relief materials to the camp said the state government has put in place a strategy to tackle the challenge, but that it will not disclose such strategy to the public.

Chairman of Shiroro local government council, Shuaibu Suleiman Chukuba, however, raised concern over increasing hunger and poverty in the area due to the activities of bandits.

Channels Television came across two women who were said to have been delivered of a baby boy and girl each.

One of the women, Zarawu gave birth on Friday evening.

Police Arrest 195 Rustlers, Recover 612 Cattle In Niger

Police Arrest 195 Rustlers, Recover 612 Cattle In NigerThe Niger State Police Command has arrested 195 suspects in various areas of the state that have been attacked by kidnappers and herdsmen criminalities.

The State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Mu’azu, while parading the suspects at the Police headquarter in Minna, said that most of them were herdsmen and kidnappers who have terrorized several communities on the Niger East senatorial districts in the last one month.

According to him, “aerial and land operations” carried out by men of the command led to the arrest of not less than 194 suspects from various locations in January alone.

“The Police in collaboration with sister security agencies took the battle to the dens of armed bandits in Allawa, Kukoki, Pandogari, Isau, Kaffinkoro, Sarkin- pawa, Shiroro, Mangoro, Lapai and Gurara.

“The aerial surveillance and ground raids culminated into the harvest of arrests and recovery of assorted weapons”.

CP Zubairu Muazu said among those arrested were “24 most wanted kidnappers and cattle rustlers” adding that 612 cattle recovered from the suspects had “been handed over to their owners”.

According to him, weapons recovered from the suspects were five AK47 riffles, 648 rounds of live ammunition, 21 single barrel guns with 248 cartridges, one revolver riffle and five revolver short guns.

Others, he said were six Ghana made pistols, one locally made pistol, nine Dane guns and other dangerous such as axe, bow, arrows and knives.

The Police Commissioner said a man suspected to be giving treatment to injured herdsman and a box containing some drugs and other medical equipment was also recovered.

He further said 21 victims were rescued from the criminals hail hearty while some were rescued injured.

The Police Commissioner advised the public “to remain calm and stop peddling rumour” saying the Police would always track down any criminal in the state.

Niger APC Passes Vote Of Confidence On State Ex-co

Niger APC Passes Vote Of Confidence On State Ex-coThe Niger state chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC), in its expanded meeting, has passed a vote of confidence on the executive committee of the party in the state.

This was one of the resolutions of the 11th Expanded Join Working Committee meeting and Local Government Party Chairmen and Secretaries headed by the State Chairman, Mohammed Imam at the party secretariat in Minna.

Briefing newsmen, the APC Chairman of Lapia local government, Alhaji Ibrahim Tauheed, warned members to adhere strictly to the party constitution for its unity and success.

He said that state caucus meeting is a constitutional matter that must be chaired by the state chairman to discuss party affairs hence, the funding and welfare of the party and its officials must be given adequate consideration.

Tauheed, added that all elected and appointed members of the party should be invited to the state party secretariat to deliberate on the way forward for the party and state government.

He further decried the deteriorating security challenges in the state, especially in Bosso, Rafi, Shiroro and parts of Edati and Mokwa local governments that needed security measures to be put in place to curb the incessant attacks on the people in those areas.

Tauheed said that members of the political party must adhere to its constitutional provisions, noting that those arrogating unnecessary powers to themselves should desist from such act as the party was banded by rules and regulations which must be obeyed.

Communal Clashes: Senator Umaru Claims Over 400 Killed In Niger State

Niger East, Senator David Umaru,, Communal ClashesA lawmaker from Niger East Senatorial district, Senator David Umaru, claims that over 400 people across various communities in the zone were murdered by cattle rustlers and armed bandits in 2016.

According to Senator Umaru, the purported killing excluded what he referred to as “unprovoked military invasion” of Kpadna, Legbe and other communities in Bosso Local Government Area that allegedly led to the death of 22 people in August 2016.

He told reporters in Minna that several livestock including cows were rustled, while women and girls were abducted and raped by the marauders who also burnt houses and other property.

The lawmaker, who is the Senate Committee Chairman on Judiciary and Human Rights, claimed that communities bordering the neighbouring Kaduna State were the most vulnerable with the bandits, capitalising on the adjoining forest as escape route and safe abode.

He listed some of the communities to include Kaure, Kusasun, Mwaignu, Sabon Gida, Kwaki, Ajata, Kushaka, Bagna, Bassa/Kukoki, Allawa in Shiroro and Rafi local government areas.

Senator Umaru alleged that in most of the attacks, security operatives always arrived the scene hours after the blood-letting with the bandits safely in their abodes, while calling for more proactive measures to halt the menace in 2017.

“It is my duty as a Senator representing the communities that were affected to call on the State Governor, Abubakar Bello, to, as a matter of urgent public importance, take immediate and more positive measures including directing the relocation of Police (and) SSS headquarters to the affected area to liberate our people,” he said.

The lawmaker also urged the state government to make public the outcome of the commission of inquiry which investigated the remote and immediate causes of the bloody clash between the military and some villagers in Bosso Local Government Area public, and to also set up white paper committee to implement the report.

Cattle Rustling: Police Deploy 500 Men To Shiroro LG, Niger State

Cattle Rustling: Police Deploy 500 Men To Shiroro LG, Niger StateThe Niger State Police Command on Thursday intensified its fight against cattle rustling in parts of the state with the deployment of additional 500 men in areas identified as dangerous points.

In a press briefing in Minna, the Commissioner of Police, Mu’azu Zubairu, said that the men would strengthen the joint task force team already on ground in Alawa, Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.

Cattle rustlers had re-launched what security agencies in the state referred to as “major offensive”, especially in Shiroro communities with 11 deaths from two attacks.

CP Muazu said that the bandits were fleeing military offensive in Zamafara state and are taking refuge in forests bordering Kaduna and Zamfara states.

He said the Police had decided to take the battle to the rustlers with the deployment of three units which include counter-terrorism, anti-cattle rustling and men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Muazu said that the state was rid of cattle rustling, kidnapping and armed robbery following a major onslaught against them by men of the command in conjunction with the military, but that the bandits just recently started “finding their way into the state again”.

“Six people were killed in Kukoki community last Monday, while five lives were lost in Gbada, all of Shiroro Local Government Area with undisclosed number of cattle rustled,” he explained.

He said that following the development, residents of communities across the affected local government areas have fled their homes for fear of attack, with many residing in Pandogari town.

Addressing the troops at the command headquarters, the Commissioner of Police urged them to rid the affected forests of the criminals, while also observing the rule of engagement.

He said that men of the command were battle ready for the task at hand.

Fashola Inspects Gurara, Kashimbila Hydro Power Projects

Babtunde-FasholaNigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has promised the completion of the 30 megawatts Gurara Hydropower plant in Kaduna, in 2017.

Speaking to journalists during an inspection tour of the project, Mr Fashola stated that the additional power from the hydro-power plant would boost efforts to stabilize power supply in the country.

The Minister told the reporters, “all the lines are already built as you can see.

“We are waiting to complete the substation where energy passes through and can be redistributed from.”

Hinting that an approval came after a Federal Executive Council meeting, he said “we should finish early next year at the latest.”

“The place is supposed to evacuate power from here through to Kaduna and Mando substations and also to Kudenda substation, to connect this to the Kaduna Power Plant”, he said.

Furthermore, he praised the efforts of the Federal Government in increasing power generation, saying that with wind power being developed in Katsina as well as the Gurara, Shiroro and Kashimbila Hydro-power projects, the nation’s energy mix would “slowly come together”.

Fashola Explains Input Gurara Hydropower Will Make To Nigeria’s Electricity

electricityNigeria’s electricity will receive a boost at the completion of the Gurara Hydropower Plant in Kaduna early next year, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has said.

While inspecting the plant that will add 30 megawatts of electricity to the over 5,000 megawatts that the nation of over 160 million people ration, Mr Fashola said that the addition was in continuation of the drive by the Federal Government to boost power generation.

Addressing reporters at the plant he explained that the additional power from the Gurara Hydropower Plant would boost efforts to stabilise power supply.

Mr Fashola pointed out that the plant would also serve as a source of transporting energy through to Kaduna and Mando substations to connect the Kaduna Power Plant.

He also hailed the Federal Government efforts to increase power generation, saying with wind power being developed in Katsina and the Gurara, Shiroro and Kashimbila hydropower projects, the nation’s energy mix was slowly coming together.

The Minister was at the plant with his team of experts to inspect the level of work done.

They also inspected the Kashimbila Multipurpose Dam project in Taraba State.

The dam when completed would provide electricity and support agricultural ventures in the surrounding communities.

The minister appealed for peace and cooperation from the host community to ensure that the project, which he pointed out would first serve the community, was completed in record time.

Recently, electricity experts advised the Nigerian government to shift focus away from generating power with gas which has seen a setback amidst increasing attacks on oil installations in the southern region by militants.

Several pipelines have been blown up with a militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers claiming responsibility for most of the attacks.

Prior to the exploration of gas for power supply, the nation had depended largely on dams. Poor maintenance and shift of focus away from the dams have also been identified as reasons the nation’s power supply has stopped improving over the years.

FEC Approves 3.5bn Naira For Car Purchase To Decongest Prisons

FEC, PrisonsThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of 3.5 billion Naira to procure 320 made-in-Nigeria vehicles to aid prisons decongestion across the country.

The approval was in response to the request in a memo presented at a FEC meeting on Wednesday by the Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahaman Dambazau (rtd).

General Dambazau noted that the procurement of vehicles was part of requirements needed to strengthen the criminal justice system.

He told State House correspondents after the meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, that at least 75% of an estimated 65,000 inmates were awaiting trial.

The Interior Minister blamed their continued detention on lack of logistics and availability of vehicles to transport them to at least 5,000 courts from prisons within the country.

On September 24, an official of the Prisons Service in Ilesa Prison in Osun State, said 454 out of 582 inmates are awaiting trial, a situation he said was as a result of huge challenges facing the Prisons Service.

The officer in charge of the Prisons, Deputy Comptroller Ope Fanimikun, said that presenting 454 inmates for trial in 72 courts was a huge challenge for officers.

He said that the Prisons service had just four vehicles, the newest of which was given to the prisons four years ago.

The Deputy Comptroller sought the support of Nigerians in form of vehicles’ donation to ensure that inmates were presented for trials to decongest the prisons.

The state of a prison in Enugu in Nigeria’s south-east

He disclosed that the prison needed at least 20 vehicles, medical facilities and consumables.

To meet this demand the FEC approved monies for procurement of vehicles.

On his part, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, briefed reporters on pending infrastructural projects as well as the state of power generation and transmission in Nigeria.

In the light of increasing dilapidation of Federal Roads, he said no new road contracts had been awarded besides inherited projects.

Mr Fashola further disclosed that the Federal Executive Council approved a memo for the provision of three 150 MVA transformers in three sub-stations in Oshogbo, Shiroro and Ondo.

He said the demand was made by the transmission company of Nigeria, in order to increase electricity transmission in the country.

Stakeholders Appeal To Niger Govt. For Resettlement Of Flood Victims

Flood, Nasarawa, Niger State, flood victimsThe National Kakanda Development Association (NKADA) has appealed to the Niger State government and other relevant agencies as a matter of urgency to speed up the resettlement plans of the most vulnerable flood affected communities in the state to Kolu Egba via Bina and Kuchi- Kebba proposed sites.

The call became necessary following the recent flooding of several communities in the Lapai area of Niger state, an incident which has been happening for five consecutive years and has caused untold hardship for the people.

The National President of NKADA, Ismaila Ayuba, was speaking at the grassroots meeting held at Muye in Lapai Local Government Area of the state and aimed at finding solutions to the challenge.

“The unfortunate situation started since the construction of Kanji, Jebba and Shiroro Hydro Power Dams which usually overflow downstream as a result of heavy rainfall that had left the community with losses unimaginable,” he said.

Ayuba said that the community has been affected in several ways including loss of lives.

Farmlands, crops and animals have been washed away. Many houses, schools and worship buildings have been destroyed, while maternal health degraded with galloping unemployment rate.

While he applauded the state and local government for their policies and programmes, Mr Ayuba asked for the construction of the permanent Muye market, posting of personnel to its primary health centre and posting of science teachers to the secondary school to enable them commence science classes.

Consequently, the meeting reached resolutions that include the establishment of dry season demonstration plot at Egba, Bina and Cheku, the registration of 10 cooperatives with the aim of benefitting from agricultural financing scheme of the government and setting up of permanent settlement for flood vulnerable communities during the rainy season.

They also resolved that the newly constructed Muye Primary Health Centre should be put to full use by asking government to post staff to drive its operation, while a science class is also established at the local secondary school.

The stakeholders also recommended amicable settlement of disputes out of litigation as well as embarking on tree planting and minimizing deforestation in the area.

They agreed that there was need to also relate with relevant agencies to commence construction of the Muye market site.

Niger Governor Commissions 50 Million Naira Beji Electrification

Niger State, Abubakar Bello, Beji ElectrificationThe Niger State Governor, Sani Bello, has commissioned a 50 million Naira Beji electrification project in Bosso Local Government to complete the community’s long awaited connection to the national greed.

The Governor, during the commissioning at Beji, regretted that the town had been in darkness and has been neglected since the creation of Niger State despite promises made by the immediate past government adding that connecting the town to the national greed was long overdue.

Bello stated that the commissioning was in fulfilment of his administration’s campaign promises to the people of Beji and environs while assuring to do more for other communities.

In his remark, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Abdulmalik Cheche, said that it was worthy of commendation that the present administration deemed it necessary to electrify Beji.

In fulfilment of APC’s promise to the community, he said that the project would surely boost the economic base of the people.

Cheche said that the project cost the state government about 50 million Naira and gave the assurance that the administration of Governor Sani Bello would gradually fulfill all its promises.

He charged the people to take ownership of the project and guard the equipment jealously to the benefit of their people, promising that other communities would benefit same within the next one year.

He also commended them of their peaceful conduct throughout the execution of the work and charged them to sustain the tempo.

He added that the project was meant to impact the three senatorial zones of the state. Wushishsi, Gbako, katcha, Shiroro and Chanchaga local governments will benefit from the project.

In same vein, the State Assembly member representing Bosso Local Government, Abdulmalik Madaki Bosso, applauded the state government for the stride.

He expressed joy that his constituency became the first to benefit from the electrification project but warned the residents to desist from vandalism.

Fashola Tasks Hydro-power Stations on Stable Power Supply

Power-equipment-maintenanceThe Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has asked Hydro-power stations in Nigeria to ensure stable power supply.

Mr Fashola made the request on Monday at a meeting held in Shiroro, Niger State, with the owners of the hydro-power stations across Nigeria.

At the 5th monthly meeting attended by participants across all the hydro-power stations and distributions in Nigeria, the owners of the facilities were asked to make concrete decisions in their various stations to sustain the capacity of their stations and boost distribution.

After the meeting the Minister assured Nigerians that the objective of achieving stable power would be achieved.

He advised the hydro-power stations and distribution companies to form clusters and stop waiting for the government to resolve their issues of interest.

Mr Fashola further stressed the need for them to hold meetings constantly and take leadership into their hands in decision making.

The Minister applauded the Niger State government for its proactive support and understanding on community issues that were slowing down works at the Zungeru dam project.

The Executive Director of Research and Advocacy with Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors,  Mr Sunday Oduntan, told the meeting that the company inherited over five million deficit non-metred customers from 6.159 million estimated metre customers in the entire country.

Mr Oduntan told the Minister that the company presently had a deficit of 2.876 million having installed 3.283 million since the company took over the distribution of power in Nigeria.

He said that 40 per cent of customers had so far been metered.

According to the last meeting 10.4 billion Naira revenue was generated by 15 DISCO and other off-takers in Nigeria, just as the three hydro-dams in Niger State generated over one billion Naira revenue.

Consequently, Kainji mainstream has over 404 million Naira, Jebba mainstream 405 million Naira and Shiroro (north-south power) generated 396 million Naira monthly.

Nigeria’s power situation had further depreciated in the last few months, with the government blaming the development on gas pipeline vandalism and sabotage.

Other power plants in  Nigeria depend on gas supply to generate electricity. The vandalism had cut off supplies to the plants, reducing the current capacity to below 4,000 megawatts for a population of over 160 million.

Some communities barely see few hours of electricity per day while most do not get supply at all.