Police Repel Armed Robbery Attack, Kill Several Bandits In Zamfara

 

An armed robbery attack has been foiled by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force in Zamfara State. 

The standoff which took place on  Sunday along Gusau-Sokoto Road, near Dogon Karfe in Bakura LGA, led to the killing of many bandits who engaged the police for about four hours.

According to a communique by state police spokesman SP Mohammed Shehu, the robbers planned to rob innocent commuters of their valuables but were valiantly repelled by police tactical operatives deployed to safeguard the road against any invasion by criminal elements.

Shehu disclosed that many bandits were fatally injured with some of them believed to have escaped with gun injuries. He further noted that the corpses of those killed have been properly taken care of.

The spokesman said the road is now cleared for motorists and other road users with rigorous confidence-building patrol being intensified to avert hitches.

Tactical operatives including special forces personnel are, however, still combing the surrounding forest to ensure that the fleeing assailants are either apprehended or neutralized.

READ ALSO: Democracy Day: Use Of Teargas Was In Line With Global Standards – Police

At least 53 killed

Sunday’s foiled attack comes barely two days after at least 53 persons were killed in an attack by bandits on some villages in Zamfara State leading to the cancellation of activities lined up for the Democracy Day celebration in the state.

Scores of motorcycle-riding gunmen called bandits earlier on Thursday through Friday, invaded the villages of Kadawa, Kwata, Maduba, Ganda Samu, Saulawa and Askawa in the Zurmi district, shooting residents.

The gang attacked farmers in their fields and pursued others who fled to escape the assaults.

Zamfara police spokesman Mohammed Shehu said 14 bodies had been taken to the state capital Gusau on Friday, and added that “policemen deployed in the area following the attacks.”

Local residents said 39 more bodies had been recovered and buried in the neighbouring town of Dauran.

“We recovered 28 bodies yesterday and 11 more this morning from the villages and buried them here,” said Dauran resident Haruna Abdulkarim.

“It was dangerous to conduct the funeral there because the bandits are harbouring in the Zurmi forest and could return to attack the funeral,” said another resident, Musa Arzika who reported the same death toll.

Villages in the Zurmi district have been repeatedly raided by bandits, and local residents blocked a major highway last week, calling on the authorities to end the attacks.

In reaction to this, Governor Bello Matawalle suspended the Emir of Zurmi, Atiku Abubakar Muhammad.

The governor also cancelled all activities line up for the Democracy Day celebration and condemned the attack.

“People should remain calm and gentle, as well as go about their normal businesses. Security agents have been mobilised to the affected communities and directed to deal ruthlessly with anyone found disrupting the peace being enjoyed by our people.

“The government deemed it necessary to suspend all the activities lined up for the democracy day for now, until further notice,” the statement read in part.

The governor asked residents to use Democracy Day to reflect and continue to pray for the intervention of God Almighty, to restore lasting peace in our state, region, and the country in general.

Things Are Getting Worse By The Day

In his reaction to the tragic incident within Zurmi District, Governor Bello Matawalle on Saturday said the state of insecurity in the state is worsening at an alarming rate.

“I feel saddened by this unfortunate and barbaric act of cowardice,” he said. “With a heavy heart, I convey my condolences on behalf of my family and the entire people of the State over this massacre.

“In recent weeks, the act of banditry has reverted to the ugly dimensions it had prior to the coming of my administration. The marauders kill without regard for any rules of sanity. Women, the elderly, and children are not spared. As a result, a large number of people have been displaced in nearly every town in the State.

“My dear people of Zamfara people, you are witnesses to what we have accomplished from the beginning of our administration, particularly the peace and reconciliation efforts that we initiated and achieved. As a result, we have been able to shift our violent narratives to ones of optimism and peaceful coexistence.

“Unfortunately, things suddenly took a dramatic turn, and things are getting worse by the day. It is clear that some invincible hands are plotting evil against our people with the goal of making our State as terrifying as it were in the years gone by. My constant prayer is for Allah to reveal those who are perpetrating these cruel atrocities against our people,” Matawalle stated.

The Governor urged communities to defend themselves against the bandits while pledging his administration’s commitment to securing the state.

Matawalle Approves Reinstatement Of Three Commissioners

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

The Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle has approved the reinstatement of three commissioners in the state.

The decision follows the recent dissolution of the State Executive Council, Commissions, and Boards.

The reinstated commissioners are;

i). Alh. Ibrahim Muhammad Dosara, as Hon. Commissioner of Information;

ii). Alh. Sufyan Bashir Yuguda, as Hon. Commissioner of Finance; and

iii). Hajiya Fa’ika M. Ahmad, as Hon. Commissioner of Humanitarian Affairs

According to a statement by the Acting Secretary to the State Government, Kabiru Balarabe the Executive Governor has also approved the reinstatement of Abubakar S/Pawa Dambo as Executive Chairman, Pilgrims Welfare Commission.

Similarly, the following appointments have been approved:

i) Sheikh Abubakar Muhammad Sodangi Gusau, as Executive Chairman, Zakat and Endowment Commission; and

ii). Alh. Ali Akilu Muhammad Dama, as Executive Chairman, Board of Internal Revenue Service.

He noted that the reinstatements and appointments take immediate effect.

11 Kidnap Victims Rescued In Zamfara

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in northwest Nigeria.

 

The Zamfara State Police Command in collaboration with the State Government Peace Committee has facilitated the release of 11 kidnap victims who were abducted near Wanzamai Village, along the Gusau-Zaria Road in Tsafe LGA of the State.

Nine of the victims were abducted about two days ago while the other two have been in captivity for five days.

The Divisional Police Officer of Tsafe LGA, Deputy Superintendent Of Police, Surajo Ibrahim said the police in collaboration with some repentant bandits, Hassan and Hussaini facilitated the release of the eleven kidnapped persons.

He said the victims were kidnapped by the boys of one kingpin named Ado Alieru, who was reached out to by the police and asked to embrace the ongoing Zamfara State peace and reconciliation process by setting free the kidnap victims in his camp and renouncing banditry.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill 26 In Deadly Attack On Zamfara State

Alieru is said to have agreed to the police’s terms and this resulted in the release of the eleven kidnap victims.

The Special Adviser To The Zamfara State governor on Security, retired Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Mamman Tsafe commended the efforts of the police and repentant bandits who conducted the joint operation that led to the rescue.

He described the tremendous success as the positive value of the peace dialogue which the Bello Matawalle administration had initiated to end the lingering security challenges in the state.

Tsafe urged recalcitrant bandits to repent and embrace peace initiative of the state government or the government will treat them in the language they understand

The retired DIG who is also supervising the state Ministry for Security and Home Affairs called on residents of the State to support the state government in the fight against bandits and other criminal elements.

12 Farmers, 10 Others Killed As Bandits Attack Zamfara Communities

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in northwest Nigeria.

 

 

Twelve farmers have been reportedly killed and nine others injured by suspected bandits in Magami and Mayaba communities in Gusau local government area of Zamfara State.

Channels TV gathered that the armed bandits launched the attack when the farmers were in their respective farmlands trying to clear their lands in preparation for this year’s farming activities.

The bandits also carted away livestock and other valuables.

It was also said that the twelve persons killed were buried according to Islamic rites while those injured are receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.

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In another attack, about ten people were killed and many animals rustled as bandits attacked Bardi And Girkau villages of Anka local government.

According to a source in Anka, the bandits invaded the villages about 9pm Thursday evening and started shooting sporadically killing six people in Bardi village and four persons in Girkau village.

The bandits also set one motorcycle ablaze and took two away.

Spokesperson of the Zamfara State Police Command SP Shehu Mohammed said troops have been deployed to the affected communities and efforts is ongoing to trace the perpetrators and ensure they face the full wrath of the law

Zamfara Assembly Poll: Tribunal Dismisses Petition Challenging PDP’s Victory

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in northwest Nigeria.

 

The election petition tribunal sitting in Kaduna state has dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its candidate challenging the victory of the PDP in the December 5th and 9th House of Assembly by-election for Bakura Constituency in Zamfara State.

The three-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Raliat Adebiyi gave the unanimous judgement in Kaduna on Friday.

The APC and its candidate Bello Dankande had filed a joint petition on December 20th,2020, specifically to disqualify Ibrahim Tukur of PDP, winner of the December 5th and 9th House of Assembly by-election on the grounds that it was marred by massive irregularities.

They alleged arbitrary allocation of figures, result sheets not showing results of all political parties that participated in the election, intimidation of voters among others.

Furthermore in the APC and its candidate claimed that they only participated in the first election held on December 5th, which was declared inconclusive by INEC, but lament that the electoral umpire, still went ahead to conduct a rerun election four days after despite the Security lapses that made the opposition party not to participate in the rerun election held on December 9th, 2020.

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Delivering the lead judgement that lasted over five hours, the tribunal dismissed all the grounds of the petition in its entirety.

The tribunal added that the petitioners failed to prove substantial non-compliance of the electoral act in most of the polling units including allegations of thuggery and harassment of voters during the election.

The tribunal however awarded two hundred thousand Naira cost against the petitioners in favour of the First respondent, Ibrahim Tukur and another sum of two hundred thousand Naira in favour of the second Respondent, the PDP.

The Independent National Electoral Commission which is the umpire in the election did not ask for any cost and therefore, was not awarded any.

While the counsel to the APC and its candidate refused to comment on the tribunal judgement, counsels to the PDP Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and that of INEC, Sani Katu (SAN), both described the judgement as a true reflection of what transpired during the election, adding that form the onset, APC’s petition was baseless and only aimed at obtaining judgement through the back door.

Zamfara First Lady Secures Political Appointment For 20 Miyetti Allah Members

Miyetti Allah appointed political appointees in Zamfara State pose with the letters.
Miyetti Allah appointed political appointees in Zamfara State pose with the letters.

 

The First Lady of Zamfara State, Hajiya Aisha Bello Muhammad Matawalle has secured appointments of Special Assistants to Governor Bello Matawalle for 20 members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state.

The First Lady’s spokesperson, Zainab Abdullahi, revealed this in a statement on Tuesday.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the State Chairman MACBAN, Alhaji Tukur Abubakar lauded the First Lady for her efforts in making meaningful change to Fulanis and other members of the community, the statement said.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill Two Miyetti Allah Leaders In Nasarawa

Abubakar also expressed immense appreciation to Governor Bello Matawalle for his support to the fulanis and involving them in his administration.

He assured that MACBAN will continue to give its maximum support and co-operation towards the success of Matawalle’s administration and for the development of the state.

Presenting the appointment letters to the beneficiaries in Gusau on Tuesday, the First Lady congratulated the appointees and assured them of a sustainable working relationship with Miyetti Allah group in promoting peace and unity in the state.

Hajiya Matawalle said the beneficiaries comprised of women and men of the group.

According to her, the gesture is aimed at supporting members of the group in appreciating them for promoting peaceful existence in the state.

100 Miners Kidnapped, 10 Killed By Abductors In Zamfara

 

The Emir of Anka in Zamfara State,  Attahiru Ahmad says more than 100 miners operating between Anka and Maru LGAs in the state were abducted by bandits on March 2.

Ahmad, chairman of the state council of chiefs, disclosed this in Gusau, the Zamfara capital, on Tuesday when Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), led service chiefs on an assessment visit to the state.

The Emir explained that the incident took place when the state was focused on the rescue of the 279 students abducted on February 26, from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe.

Ahmad also said the bandits killed 10 persons during an invasion of a mining site in Zamfara.

“The bandits have been attacking those involved in artisanal mining and carting away their money and property,” he said.

READ ALSO: Troops Clear Local Government Areas In Borno, Kill Scores Of Terrorists

“There is a disconnect between miners and bandits in the state, so we were surprised when the declaration of ‘no-fly zone’ was recently slammed on our state over suspected arms supply and illegal mining when the state does not even have an airport.

“We know that there are states with more security challenges than Zamfara, and we expected that if such order would be issued, it should also cover such states.

“Our artisanal miners, who are licensed, have been very helpful to the state’s economic growth and they have played significant roles in ameliorating the hardship faced by IDPs in the state by supporting them.”

The traditional ruler requested the deployment of more security operatives to the state and commended the peace initiative of the Zamfara government.

“The peace and dialogue initiative of our governor has become necessary because, at the moment, we have less than 5,000 security men fighting over 30,000 bandits,” he said.

He, therefore, called for synergy among security operatives to ensure success in the fight against insecurity in Zamfara.

Insecurity : It Is Time For Buhari To Sit Up And Tighten His Belt – Shinkafi

 

The President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has been asked to tighten its belt to address the prevailing insecurity currently facing the country.

A chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Zamfara State, Abdullahi Shinkafi made the call while addressing newsmen regarding the state of the Nation.

Shinkafi said no part of Nigeria is devoid of the security threats currently being faced.

He asked President Buhari to tackle the prevalent abductions, cattle rustlings, killings, and other crimes to ensure a peaceful Nigeria.

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He appealed to the new service chiefs to deal decisively with anyone found with sophisticated rifles as ordered by President Buhari, as to enable peace to reign in the country.

Regarding the federal government’s no-fly zone declaration over Zamfara State, the APGA chieftain described the ban as misleading, laughable, adding that the order amounts to selective justice.

Army Officer, Girlfriend Arrested For Aiding Banditry In Zamfara

A map of Zamfara in north-west Nigeria.

 

The Zamfara state government has confirmed the arrest of an Army officer and his girlfriend for aiding banditry in the state.

The officer is accused of supplying arms, military uniforms, and other items to the bandits.

Authorities in the state say the arrest further confirms the position of the state Governor Bello Matawalle, that until the security structure in the state is reviewed, banditry and kidnapping will continue to strive.

The government is worried that some security operatives deployed to protect the lives and properties of residents are now aiding banditry which is worsening the situation.

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“Another issue of topical importance is the recent arrest by the Military of an Army officer and his girlfriend who are engaged in assisting bandits with Military uniforms and ammunition in active connivance with other saboteurs.

“While the state government awaits the action the military will take on this matter and make an official statement, the development has further proved the position of Governor Bello Mohammed that until bad eggs and saboteurs among those fighting banditry are cleared, we may not record the desired success in the fight.

 “Let me use this medium to salute the courage and patriotism of the individuals who came forward with information that led to the arrest of these traitors,” a government communique partly read.

 

I Am Ready To Resign If That Will Bring Peace To Zamfara – Gov Matawalle

 

Bello Matawalle says he is ready to resign as governor of Zamfara if that will bring peace to the state.

Matawalle who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today stated this when asked if he is intimidated by the Federal Government’s declaration of a ‘No-Fly Zone’ in Zamfara.

He said: “I am ready to accept any solution that will bring security to my state.

“I am not intimidated. If I know that my resigning as a governor will make the people sleep with their two eyes closed, I can resign. I am ready to do what will bring security. I am not power-hungry. I have been having a sleepless night to protect the people of Zamfara State.”


I Agree With Declaration Of ‘No-Fly Zone’ If It Will Bring Peace In Zamfara – Matawalle

How Repentant Bandits Handed Over Abducted Schoolgirls To Security Agents – Matawalle


The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, had on Tuesday said President Buhari approved the declaration “No-Fly Zone” in Zamfara, as part of efforts to tackle the security challenges in the state.

Matawalle noted that while he has no grievance regarding the order, he was however disappointed that the National Security Council did not consult him before making the declaration.

The governor also stated that the ‘No-Fly Zone’ order is not the same as declaring a state of emergency.

He argued that the flight ban was supposed to have been extended to some other states seeing that the security challenges faced in Zamfara were also affecting many states in the northern part of the country.

President Buhari Celebrates Release Of Abducted Zamfara Schoolgirls, Calls For Greater Vigilance

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a Virtual Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Kano-Katsina-Jibya-Maradi with a branch line to Dutse Railway Project in State House on February 9. 2021.
President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a Virtual Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Kano-Katsina-Jibya-Maradi with a branch line to Dutse Railway Project in State House on February 9. 2021.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed overwhelming joy over the release of the abducted female students in Zamfara State.

Reacting to the development, in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday the President said “I join the families and people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the release of these traumatized female students.”

He also said he was excited that their ordeal came to a happy end without any incident, adding that “being held in captivity is an agonizing experience not only for the victims but also their families and all of us.”

While celebrating the release of the students, the President called for greater vigilance by the people so that human intelligence could be collected early enough to nip the bandits’ plans in the bud.

He also warned that the time has come to reverse, completely, the grim and heartbreaking incidents of kidnapping.

“Ransom payments will continue to prosper kidnapping,” President Buhari said while urging the Police and the Military to go after the kidnappers and bring them to justice.

The freed Zamfara Schoolgirls arrived at the State Government House in the capital city, Gusau in the early hours of Tuesday, wearing face masks and light blue and brown chadors.

 

 

Shortly after, they had breakfast and are now scheduled to visit the hospital for checks before a reunion with their families.

317 of the girls were said to have been abducted last Friday from their boarding school, the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

The Governor, Bello Matawalle, however, put the number of abducted and recovered schoolgirls at 279.

Seven of the girls had earlier escaped their captors.

Governor Matawalle said the 279 were released with the help of repentant bandits without any ransom paid.

Their abduction is the latest in a series of increasing abductions witnessed in the country within the last three months.

Abducted Jangebe Schoolgirls Reportedly Regain Freedom, Govt Yet To Confirm Report

A photo of the school billboard

 

The kidnapped schoolgirls of the Government Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara State, have reportedly regained their freedom.

While Channels Television gathered on Sunday that the students have regained their freedom, the state government and other officials are, however, yet to confirm this or provide any details.

As of Friday evening, seven out of the 317 abducted female students were said to have escaped.

A source who spoke with Channels Television from Jangebe town via a phone call confirmed that the seven girls returned home on their own as they claimed they manoeuvred their way back from the bandits while trekking along the forest.

The girls were abducted from their boarding school in the early hours of Friday.

In reaction to the development, the Zamfara Police Commissioner, CP Abutu Yar, had said a joint search and rescue operation was already underway with a view to rescuing all 317 students.

CP Yaro said the Force Commander Operations Hadarin Daji, Major General Aminu Bande, Brigade Commander 1 Brigade, Nigeria Army Gusau, and other state government officials led a heavily armed Re-enforcement team to Jangebe to complement the rescue operation in the locations where the students were believed to have been whisked to.

Meanwhile shortly after, the state Governor, Bello Matawalle, ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the state.

“As we are making efforts to strengthen security around our schools, I have directed the immediate closure of all boarding secondary schools across the State,” Matawalle said in a broadcast, Friday evening.

One Abduction Too Many?

The reported release of the students comes a day after abducted students and staff of the Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, regained their freedom.

Armed men who were said to have worn military uniforms, had attacked the school at about 2:00 am On February 17, shooting sporadically before whisking away their captives to an unknown destination.

One student was killed in the process.

After the abductees regained their freedom on Saturday, Governor Abubakar Bello did not comment on whether a ransom was paid for the victims’ release but he said it was a joint effort by security agencies, traditional rulers and other “major stakeholders.”

Prior to the Kagara abduction, over 300 students of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State were also abducted in December 2020.

They were, however, all rescued shortly after.

A ‘Strong Warning’

President Muhammadu Buhari reacting to the spate of abductions described it as inhumane and totally unacceptable.

In a statement released by spokesman Garba Shehu on Friday, the President said: “this administration will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectations of huge ransom payments.”

According to Buhari, “no criminal group can be too strong to be defeated by the government,” and he added that “the only thing standing between our security forces and the bandits are the rules of engagement.”

“We have the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operate, but our limitation is the fear of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits,” he said, stressing that “our primary objective is to get the hostages safe, alive and unharmed.”

The Federal Government had also said that no ransom will be paid for the release of abducted students.

Read Also: Gov Bello Meets Freed Kagara Abductees In Minna

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Saturday while explaining some of the government’s strategies to curb the rate of abductions in the country.

While he ruled out the option of paying ransoms, the minister assured Nigerians that the “government has put in place various strategies to contain banditry, insurgency and kidnapping.”

“Some of these measures are kinetic, some are non-kinetic,” Mr Lai Mohammed said, without disclosing any specific actions.

According to him, the same was the case for the abducted Kankara schoolboys in Katsina State and the Dapchi schoolgirls in Yobe State, where contrary to reports, he claimed that no ransom was paid to secure their release.

“All these stories about ransom, are conspiracy theories,” the minister said.

He continued by saying: “I can assure you that the government is on top of the matter – but it is not a subject matter for television discussion.

“We didn’t get there overnight, that is why we can’t get out in one day”.