Troops Kill Three Suspected Gunrunners, Recover Weapons In Sokoto

Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River
Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River

 

Three suspected gunrunners have been killed with their weapons recovered in a border town in Sokoto State.

Confirming the incident on Wednesday via a statement, Army spokesman, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, said the suspects who operated around the Sabo Birni area of the state were neutralised on Tuesday.

The operation followed credible information of gunrunners moving weapons on foot from the Niger Republic into Nigeria around 11 pm.

“The highly vigilant troops mounted a successful ambush along the suspected route close to Garin Naimaimai Village and neutralised the three gunrunners,” the statement partly read.

Items recovered include RPG bombs and RPG chargers, machine gun, AK-47 assault rifles and other accessories as well as the different caliber of assorted ammunition.

On his part, the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya commended the efforts of the troops.

He also asked them to “sustain operational in dominating all the illegal routes around the border areas with the Niger Republic to frustrate any movement of weapons and ammunition into the country.”

Over N2.5bn Worth Of Onions Destroyed By Fire In Sokoto

Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River
Sokoto usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River

 

Over two hundred thousand bags of onions worth over N2.5 billion have been destroyed by fire at the Ramin Kura local onion storage facility in Sokoto State.

President Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Aliyu Umar revealed this to newsmen when he visited Ramin Kura for an on-the-spot assessment of the damage done to the facility.

He said the facility contains over twenty local storage facilities that each has the capacity of carrying ten bags of onion, which amounts to two hundred thousand bags, and with the current market price of N12 thousand per bag, this amount to N2.5 billion.

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According to him, storing onions at a local facility like Ramin Kura comes with risks such as this, adding, however, that it is because of a lack of modern storage facilities that farmers and traders get to settle for what is availed them.

Mr. Umar expressed fears that this may lead to an onion crisis in the country like the one experienced in 2020 during the outbreak of the Coronavirus as well as the END SARS protests that affected some onion traders.

He appealed to the Federal and State governments to assist farmers and traders to enable them to cushion the effect of this great loss.

The president also called on private business owners to take advantage of the benefits in the onion value chain and invest in modern facilities that will boost onion business in Nigeria.

TCN Upgrades Transmission Line To Boost Power Supply In Sokoto

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The reconductoring of the new 130KM 132kV double circuit Sokoto – Birnin Kebbi Transmission Line has been completed, said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

In a statement on Saturday, TCN General Manager (Public Affairs), Mrs Ndidi Mbah, disclosed that the transmission line was energised at about 4:35pm on Tuesday.

“The new high capacity 132KV transmission line which affects/ transverses 405 towers along the Birnin Kebbi – Sokoto line route, now transmits about 170MW, which is more than double the 70MW capacity previously transmitted by the decommissioned old 132kV transmission line,” she said.

The TCN spokesperson added, “The new 132KV transmission line has solved the low voltage and attendant poor power situation that used to be prevalent in the Sokoto axis, as TCN is now enabled to substantially transmit increased bulk power electricity to Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO)’s distribution load centres in Sokoto State and environs.”

She explained that the new development would enable KEDCO to deliver more stable and quality power to its customers in that axis.

Prior to the reconductoring of the line, Mbah noted that the Sokoto – Birnin Kebbi 132KV transmission line was overloaded due to increased demand, arising from the massive increase in human population and attendant socio-economic activities in the area.

She, however, stated that the new transmission line has solved the problem of overloading and suppressed load, adding that it has ample capacity for anticipated load increase.

The project began in November 2020 and was carried out in phases, in order to ameliorate the effect of scheduled outages on electricity consumers during the period.

According to the TCN spokesperson, some areas did not experience outage through the period as they were back-fed through another line.

“We are sincerely grateful to the government and good people of Sokoto State and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, for their patience and cooperation during the period of the transmission line reconductoring,” she said.

NDLEA Parades Suspected Drug Baron With ₦1bn Worth Of Cocaine In Sokoto

Some of the substance suspected to be cocaine was intercepted by NDLEA operatives in Sokoto State.

 

The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has paraded a suspected drug baron with cocaine worth ₦1 billion.

The suspect was arrested at Illela border in Sokoto State as he attempted to cross to the Niger Republic.

Briefing journalists on Monday, the suspect said he abandoned his textile business in Algeria for drug business to make more money as the textile business is not yielding enough.

Channels Television learned the suspect was attempting to move to Algeria where he resides via the Niger Republic before he was nabbed.

He was caught with 62 wraps of the substance carefully concealed in two Yoghurt bottles weighing 1.550kg when NDLEA officials were on stop and search operation.

The NDLEA said the worth of the substance intercepted in the hand of the trans-border drug baron is in the tune of one billion naira.

According to the NDLEA acting Commander of Sokoto Office, Amos  Bamidele, the suspect confessed that he was lured into the business.

He said the suspect explained his Nigerian friend mocked and lured him into the business of drugs with a promise to pay him five hundred thousand Naira after delivery of the stuff to his Algerian syndicate.

While warning drug barons to stay away from Sokoto, the NDLEA warned that the command is ready to deal with anybody involved in illicit drugs in and around the state.

Bandits Kill 12 People In Sokoto

Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River
Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River.

 

Suspected bandits have killed 12 people in Illella Amarawa in the Illela Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

A resident of the area told Channels Television that the gunmen came to the area around 2:00 am and kidnapped a popular businessman in the community, Rabi’u Amarawa.

Following the attacks, community members were said to have alerted the vigilantes who mobilised and chased the bandits in a bid to rescue the abductee.

The bandits with superior firepower open fire at the vigilantes and members of the community and in the process killed twelve persons.

The Sokoto State Police Command confirmed the killing to Channels Television on Monday.

Spokesman of the command, Sanusi Abubakar, said members of the affected community resorted to self-help without calling on police, adding that it led to heavy casualties.

He explained that the police authorities have commenced investigation and also deployed five units, each comprising 63 well-armed policemen to areas prone to banditry in the state.

APC To Boycott Sokoto LG Election

A flag of the APC.

 

Ahead of the March 27 local government election in Sokoto State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced its withdrawal from the exercise.

Addressing journalists on Sunday at the party’s secretariat in Sokoto, APC Caretaker Chairman, Isa Sadiq Achida, said the party cannot participate in an election that will be conducted by unfair, compromised and bias umpire.

According to him, the state electoral commission is a composition of men not only loyal to the state government, but very close allies of the state governor, and are allegedly ready to do his bidding.

READ ALSO: Presidency Should Be Zoned To Southern Nigeria, Says Ganduje

He said the party is pained that the present administration in the state has destroyed the local government administration, noting that the APC cannot tarnish its good mage by participating in a compromised exercise.

The APC chieftain is however sure of winning the election if conducted in a free and fair manner.

Achida blamed the party’s decision to pull out of the exercise on what he described as a lack of transparency by the state government.

Buhari Directs Federal Aid Agencies To Respond To Sokoto Market Fire Victims

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Federal Agencies to urgently respond to victims of the Sokoto Central Market fire which occurred on Tuesday.

The President in a statement on Wednesday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, expressed sympathy and solidarity with victims of the Sokoto Central Market fire incident.

“I am deeply moved by this fire incident because of its huge adverse impact on the economic life of the people who struggle daily to earn a living.
“To see your investments go up in flames is particularly painful and I sincerely send my heartfelt sympathy and solidarity with all the victims, and pray to God to replenish your losses.’’

President Buhari called on market authorities to train traders and facility managers on basic safety precautions to forestall the frequency of fire outbreaks.

According to him, “once the traders are trained on the risk factors, it will go a long way to minimize the frequency of fire outbreaks at business places.’’

Fire Engulfs Sokoto Central Market

Sokoto Central Market

 

Fire has engulfed the Sokoto central market destroying goods and properties.

The cause of the incident which occurred on Tuesday is yet unknown as some traders say the fire started from some plastic materials.

Officials of the Federal and State Fire Service in Sokoto are working with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other security agencies to put out the fire outbreak.

A bulldozer used in removing rubbles

An official of the Federal Fire Service said the large crowd that gathered are making their work difficult.

He admitted that a shortage of equipment is also a challenge, adding that a bulldozer is required to create space for firefighters to the fire.

I Did Not Call For A Coup In My Christmas Message, Says Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah speaks during a press conference in Sokoto on December 28, 2020.

 

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto Catholic, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah has denied calling for a coup in his 2020 Christmas message.

He made this known on Monday night during a press conference at St Bakhita Secretariat in Sokoto.

“It is unfair for a journalist or news medium to report that I called for a coup while expressing my personal view about Nigeria,” he said.

“I am pained and very sad that my emergency critics never see that many innocent lives are being lost on a daily basis. The loss of lives in the last ten years, even before the advent of this administration, calls for concern.

“The reactions are a reflection of every citizen that make up Nigeria. It is sad that when you drop something in Nigeria, everybody goes back to their enclave and abandon the larger picture. I am someone who never takes offense to what people say about me.”

READ ALSO: Killings: Buhari’s Govt Owes Nigerians An Explanation, Says Kukah

Speaking further, Bishop Kukah said it is only feeble minds that would misconstrue his statements as an indication of the intention to go into party politics.

While noting that everyone has the right to hold political views, he said nothing stops him as a priest and conscience of society from speaking truth to power.

“To make it more interesting, a retired General from the North-West who is a Muslim has also released a statement on his handle to say all that I said is true.

“I have no plan and will never play partisan politics for any reason. Those who link me to partisan politics because of my statement are only playing into the gallery,” he added.

Kukah’s remarks come four days after he said President Muhammadu Buhari’s government owes Nigerians an explanation over the killings of innocent people in the country.

In his Christmas message titled, ‘A Nation in Search of Vindication,’ Bishop Kukah said Nigeria appeared to be heading for darkness under his administration.

“This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness,” he said.

“The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?”

Killings: Buhari’s Govt Owes Nigerians An Explanation, Says Kukah

Atiku Was Invited For Peace Accord Signing, Says Kukah
File photo of Bishop Matthew Kukah

 

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government owes Nigerians an explanation over the killings of innocent people in the country.

In his Christmas message titled, ‘A Nation in Search of Vindication,’ Bishop Kukah said Nigeria appeared to be heading for darkness under his administration.

“This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness,” he said.

“The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?”

While lamenting the level of insecurity in the country, Kukah said Nigerians have nowhere to turn to.

According to him, the country’s inability to feed itself is one of the most dangerous signs of state failure and a trigger to violence.

“As our country drifts almost rudderless, we seem like people travelling without maps, without destination and with neither Captain nor Crew. Citizens have nowhere to turn to.

“Our country’s inability to feed itself is one of the most dangerous signs of state failure and a trigger to violence,” he said.

The cleric described Nigeria as a rudderless country where the citizens travelled in a boat devoid of captain or crew and without any maps and destination insight.

He also accused President Buhari of nepotism, noting that there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president does a fraction of what Buhari did.

For Bishop Kukah, President Buhari’s administration was institutionalizing northern hegemony by “reducing others in public life to second-class status”.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Citizens Have Nowhere To Turn To – Bishop Kukah

“President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him to what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony. He has pursued this self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion.

“Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it,” he added.

Bishop Kukah, however, asked Nigerians not to give up despite the pain, sorrow and uncertainty in the land, calling for prayers to save the nation.

“Yet, we stand firmly with the unshaken belief that no matter the temptations, the world has known worst times. These may be the worst of times, but for men and women of faith, they could be the best of times. We must stand firm and resolute because, our redeemer liveth (Job 19:25),” he said.

Sokoto Govt Directs Immediate Closure Of 16 Boarding Schools

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal

 

Sokoto State Government has ordered the immediate closure of 16 boarding schools along its borderlines.

The decision was taken from the 17th security council meeting which was held on Wednesday.

Briefing journalists the State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr Muhammad Bello Abubakar Guiwa on the security situation in the affected areas and the threats this portends.

The affected schools are: Government Girls Model Secondary School, Illela, Sultan Muhammadu Tambari Arabic Secondary School, Illela, Gamji Girls College, Rabah, Government Secondary School, Gada, Government Secondary School, Gandi and Government Secondary School, Goronyo

Others are Government Secondary School, Isa, Government Secondary School Sabon Birnin Gobir, Boarding Primary School, Isa, Boarding Primary School, Balle and Boarding Primary School, Jabo.

The remaining are UBE Junior Secondary School, Sabon Birni, Government Secondary School, Kebbe, Government Secondary School, Tureta, Government Technical College, Binji and Olusegun Obasanjo Technical College, Bafarawa.

Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal disclosed that “the schools were to be closed, temporarily for two weeks.”

The governor directed the Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education and that of Science and Technology to temporarily merge the students of the affected schools with those of other schools for the continuation of their studies pending the improvement in the security situation of the affected areas

Accordingly, Principals of the affected schools are hereby directed to comply with immediate effect.

Police Kill Two Suspected Kidnappers, Arrest Armed Robbers In Sokoto

File photo of a Police patrol van.

 

Two suspected kidnappers have been killed in Sanyinna area of Tambuwal Local Government Area of Sokoto State during a gun battle with the police.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ibrahim Sani Ka’oje disclosed this on Saturday during a press conference at the command’s headquarters.

He explained that been an upsurge in kidnap for ransom and pockets of robbery in the state with one of the recent robbery cases leading to the death of one person.

“We have been trailing them. Last two weeks, there was a case in Sanyinna whereby the military and other security agencies went to that forest but they couldn’t penetrate because that place requires a tactical operation,” he said.

READ ALSO: Bandits Attack Kasuwan Magani Town, Shoot Fulani Leader In Kaduna

According to the police boss, one of the suspects in the robbery that claimed the life of a victim two weeks ago in Tamaje area of the state have been arrested.

Four robbery suspects and eight other persons suspected to be kidnappers were also arrested and three AK-47 and a rifle with live ammunition were recovered.