Dealing With Bandits Easier Since Telecom Services Shutdown, Says Zamfara Commissioner

 

The Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, says the military onslaught against the bandits is yielding tremendous success especially since the shutdown of telecoms services in the state.

Dosara disclosed this on Tuesday at a press briefing in the state.

“Zamfara State Government in efforts to ensure the crashing of the bandits has requested for the closing down of all networks in the state and this has been effective,” he said.

“The security officials are finding it very easy to deal with the bandits in their enclaves in the forests.”

Read Also: NCC Shuts Down All Telecom Sites In Zamfara

He said some identified camps were destroyed by the Air Force while the Army is also on the ground to neutralise those who managed to escape through footpaths.

Speaking further, the Commissioner said other measures have also been taken based on credible information and intelligence available to the government.

“These include the immediate closure of the following places suspected to be habouring bandits and their collaborators,” Dosara said.

According to him, such places include some illegal motor parks and roadside markets, especially those at Kauran Namoda-Jibia road, Lambar Bakura junction, Mayanchi-Anka junction, Garejin Mai Lena, as well as Filin Jirgi rice and vegetables market in Gusau Metropolitan.

As part of efforts to curb the growing insecurity in the sate, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed telecommunications providers to shut down services.

This was disclosed in a memo signed on Friday by the Vice-Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta.

The shutdown is expected to last for two weeks.

Meanwhile, last week, the government shut down schools after the abduction of 73 students from a public school in the state.

The abduction occurred 11 days after students abducted from the College of Agriculture in Bakura, Zamfara, regained freedom.

The state governor Bello Matawalle also suspended the transportation of livestock beyond the state’s borders and ordered the closure of weekly markets across the state, while transportation of food items will be subject to verification.

NCC Shuts Down All Telecom Sites In Zamfara

Failed Data Tariff Increment Decision Was To Protect Consumers – NCC‎

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed telecommunications providers to shut down services in Zamfara State.

The shutdown is to last for two weeks.

This was disclosed in a memo signed on Friday by the vice-chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, and addressed to one of the telecoms providers.

According to the memo, the shutdown of the telecoms sites had become necessary due to the lingering insecurity in the state.

“The pervading security situation in Zamfara has necessitated an immediate shutdown of all telecommunications services in the state from today, September 3, 2021. This is to enable relevant security agencies to carry out the required activities towards addressing the security challenge in the state.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill Four, Abduct Several Others In Zamfara

“In line with this requirement, Globacom is hereby directed to shut down all sites in Zamfara State and any sites(s) in neighbouring states that could provide telecommunications services in Zamfara State. The site shut down is for two weeks from September 3 to September 17, 2021, in the first instance. Your urgent action in this regard is required,” the memo read in part.

This decision is coming six months after the Federal Government declared Zamfara State a ‘no-fly zone’ and banned all mining activities in the state.

The state has been a hotbed of criminal attacks ranging from kidnapping and banditry.

Last week, the government shut down schools after the abduction of 73 students from a public school in the state.

The abduction occurred 11 days after students abducted from the College of Agriculture in Bakura, Zamfara, regained freedom.

The state governor Bello Matawalle also suspended the transportation of livestock beyond the state’s borders and ordered the closure of weekly markets across the state, while transportation of food items will be subject to verification.

UNICEF ‘Horrified’ By Zamfara School Abduction

UNICEF is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world.
UNICEF is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world.

 

UNICEF on Thursday said it was horrified by yet another attack on a school in Nigeria, following the abduction of scores of students from Government Day Secondary School Kaya in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

“We strongly condemn this attack, which has happened just a few days after kidnapped students of a school in Niger State, north-central Nigeria, were freed,” UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, said in a statement.

“We call on the authorities to take expedited action to rescue these students and reunite them with their families.

READ ALSO: Zamfara Govt Orders Closure Of All Markets, Fuel Stations

“We reiterate that attacks on schools and abduction of learners are a gross violation of children’s rights, and a horrific experience for children to go through – one which could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and overall well-being.

“Schools must be safe; no child should experience any harm because they went to school, and no parent should come to grief for sending their children to learn.”

Five of the students regained their freedom on Thursday.

Confirming the news, the Zamfara State Police Command described the return of the five students as “unconditional and safe rescue.”

The Command also assured residents that the remaining abducted students will safely return to their families.

Meanwhile, the Zamfara State Government has ordered the immediate closure of primary and secondary schools due to the worsening state of insecurity.

Five Abducted Zamfara Students Regain Freedom

A map of Zamfara in north-west Nigeria.

 

Bandits have returned five students of Government Day Secondary School Kaya in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara state.

At least 73 of the students had been kidnapped on Wednesday, according to the police.

Speaking to Channels Television via telephone, a former councilor of Kaya ward, Yahaya Kaya said his younger brother’s daughter was among the students released by the bandits.

READ ALSO: Bandits Attack Zamfara School, Abduct Students

According to him, the five students were taken back to their hometown Kaya, around one o’clock on Thursday morning.

It is not yet clear if the bandits are asking for a ransom before the remaining students are released.

The abduction of the Kaya students is the latest in a series of mass school kidnappings in the northern region.

On Wednesday, the State Government ordered the immediate closure of primary and secondary schools due to the worsening state of insecurity.

‘Safe rescue’

Confirming the news, the Zamfara State Police Command described the return of the five students as “unconditional and safe rescue.”

The Command also assured residents that the remaining abducted students will safely return to their families.

“It would be recalled that, upon the abduction of 73 Male and Female students, the Zamfara State Police Command in Collaboration with other security agencies and the state government have swung into action by deploying a joint search and rescue team to Kaya and its environ to effectively rescue the abducted students and reunite them with their families,” a statement signed by the Command’s spokesperson, Mohammed Shehu, said.

“The ongoing search and rescue mission is yielding positive result as Five (5) abducted Female students were today rescued. The victims were medically checked at the hospital, debriefed by the Police and reunite the victims with their families.

“The Commissioner of Police CP Ayuba N. Elkana psc + assured the people of the State that, the ongoing search and rescue effort will be sustained, so that the remaining abducted students will be rescued hale and hearty.”

Zamfara Govt Orders Closure Of All Markets, Fuel Stations

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle (File Photo)

 

Governor of Zamfara State Bello Matawalle has declared the closure of all major markets in the state.

The governor has also ordered the closure of some filling stations in local areas, adding that there should be no selling of fuel even in jerry cans.

This is coming shortly after some abducted students of the College Of Agriculture and Animal Science Bakura, regained their freedom.

The students were released on Friday with the help of some repentant bandits.

According to the governor, no ransom was paid for their release.

In a bid to tackle the growing activities of bandits in the state, the state government announced a set of new measures.

They are contained in the statement below:

GOVT ROLLS OUT STRINGENT MEASURES AGAINST CRIMES

Governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Marafun, Shattiman Sakkwato) has announced a set of new measures aimed at curtailing the growing activities of bandits in the state.

Henceforth, all filling stations in the state are banned from selling fuel except in Gusau and the 14 local Government headquarters. In addition, no eligible filling station is allowed to sell fuel of more that N10,000 to a single customer.

Similarly, the sale of fuel in jerry cans is disallowed in all filling stations while roadside purchase (popularly known as black market) are entirely banned.

Governor Matawalle further announced that all weekly markets across the state are suspended but normal market activities of buying and selling for local consumptions are exempted from the ban.

The Government further ordered that the transportation of livestock to and from the State is henceforth suspended while the transportation of food across the state and outside the state must be verified to authenticate its destination otherwise will be seized and taken to the orphanage.

The new rules further include the banning of riding on motorcycles and tricycles from 6pm to 6am in the state except the state capital which starts by 8pm to 6am everyday. Furthermore, any tricycle that is covered will be stopped to verify its passengers, otherwise will be apprehended.

Governor Matawalle reiterated the ban on more than two persons riding a motorcycle and warned that those who break the law stand the risk of being shot at by security operatives.

The Governor called on all citizens in the state to observe these rules to avoid unfortunate incidents as the security operatives will be empowered to treat offenders as suspected bandits.He said a committee will be constituted to ensure compliance to ensure added sanity in our communities.

Zailani Bappa
Special Adviser
Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications.
27/8/2021

Abducted Zamfara College Students Regain Freedom

 

The abducted students of the College Of Agriculture and Animal Science Bakura, Zamfara State, have regained their freedom, 12 days after gunmen whisked them away from the institution.

According to Governor Bello Matawalle, the students were released on Friday through the help of some repentant bandits.

“Today, based on our dialogue and reconciliation, we used the repentant bandits to secure the release of these students,” he said.

“They have worked hard for almost 10 days. They are out day and night to make sure that they convinced those criminals to release those students and their teachers. (Alhamdulillah), today they are in our midst”.

The students were brought to the Government House in Gusau in a bus amid heavy security and were received by the governor and top officials of the state.

 

Gunmen had stormed the institution around 11:00 pm on August 15 and kidnapped 20 people – 15 students, four staff members, and a driver.

During the attack, the gunmen killed two watchmen and a police officer.

Days later, amid outrage and condemnation of yet another attack on schools in the country, the abductors demanded the sum of N350 million for the release of those abducted.

 

 

Upon receiving the students on Friday, Governor Matawalle, however, said that no ransom was paid for their release.

Meanwhile, the governor has ordered the closure of all major markets in the state.

He also ordered that all filling stations in local areas be shut down, adding that there should be no selling of fuel even in jerry cans.

A front view of the College of Agriculture and Animal Science which is in Bakura Local Government Area.

 

Bandits Abduct District Head In Zamfara

An image of a Zamfara district head, Alhaji Nafiu Shehu.
An image of a Zamfara district head, Alhaji Nafiu Shehu.

 

Armed bandits have again invaded Adabka community under Bukkuyum Local government area of Zamfara State.

A source from the community told Channels Television that the bandits attacked the community on Saturday about 12pm and operated till around 4pm before whisking away the district head of the community, Alhaji Nafiu Shehu.

He said nobody was killed during the attack.

READ ALSO: Bandits Attack Rini Town In Zamfara, Abduct Many Locals

The source also said the mobile police unit that was stationed in the community was moved out of the community last week which gave the bandits opportunity to enter the area.

Adabka is about 165 kilometers from the state capital, Gusau.

The police in Zamfara are yet to confirm the latest incident.

Abducted Wife, Baby Of Former Zamfara Councilor Regain Freedom

A former councilor of Tundunwada ward of Gusau local government of Zamfara State, Babangida Haruna, stands with his wife after they regained freedom from kidnappers on August 13, 2021.
A former councilor of Tundunwada ward of Gusau local government of Zamfara State, Babangida Haruna, stands with his wife after they regained freedom from kidnappers on August 13, 2021.

 

Wife of the former councilor of Tundunwada ward of Gusau local government of Zamfara State, Babangida Damba and her eight month old baby have regained their freedom.

The duo were abducted by unknown gunmen on Wednesday at their residence in Damba Area of Gusau.

According to sources close to the family, the kidnapped victims were released on Friday evening after spending more than 48 hours in captivity.

During the invasion of the residence, the heavily armed men shot multiple bullets at the door to gain access into the house, before whisking away the nursing mother and baby.

The assault left the husband with a gunshot wound on his left arm.

“Alhamdulillah, Glory be to Allah, my wife and my baby regained freedom,” the former councilor, Babangida Haruna, posted on his Facebook page.

It is not clear whether a ransom was paid before the duo were released.

Bandits Attack General Hospital In Zamfara, Kidnap Health Worker

 

Armed bandits have attacked a General Hospital within the Dansadau community in the Maru local government area of Zamfara State.

The attack which took place in the early hours of Friday led to the abduction of a health worker and one other individual.

Confirming the attack, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Zamfara State branch Dr. Mannir Bature told Channels Television that the gunmen stormed the hospital and started looking for medical doctors and nurses and in the process abducted a ward attendant and a patient’s relation.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Three Killed As Bridge Collapses In Bauchi

He further stated that two other female staff of the hospital were wounded in the raid.

Worried about the unfortunate incident, Dr. Bature noted that the NMA Zamfara branch will hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday 31st July 2021 at NMA Secretariat to deliberate on the issue.

Dansadau community has been in the news recently for several attacks by bandits, leading to the kidnapping of residents.

The community has been reaching out to the Federal and State Governments, pleading that more security personnel be deployed to the troubled area.

Bandits Invade Zamfara Community, Kill 3 Persons, Abduct 7

 

Bandits have again attacked the Dansadau community within Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, killing 3 persons and abducting 7 others.

A source in the community told Channels TV that the armed bandits attacked the community around 2:30am and the siege lasted for about 4 hours, ending in the early hours of Friday morning.

He also confirmed that armoured personnel carrier belonging to the Nigerian military was also set ablaze by the bandits.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kill Five In Attack On Nasarawa Community

This attack is coming barely a few days after 100 kidnapped victims from Manawa village under the Dansadau district were released by the marauders, and barely a week after a military Alpha jet was shot down by gunmen in the state.

As of the time of filing this report, the state police command was yet to confirm the latest attack, though the public relations officer promised to get back to our correspondent with more information.

Dansadau community is about ninety-nine kilometers from Gusau the Zamfara State capital and is one of the hottest zones in terms of banditry, kidnappings, and other related crimes in the state.

Eid-El Kabir: Police Deploy 2200 Operatives To Provide Adequate Security In Zamfara

 

In view of the forthcoming Eid-El-Kabir Sallah celebrations slated from 20th and the 21st July 2021, the Zamfara State Police Command has deployed 2200 operatives to ensure guarantee safety and security of lives and properties in the state. 

The State Police Commissioner, CP Hussaini Rabiu made the arrangement that is aimed at catering to the security needs of the 14 Local Government Areas in Zamfara, stated a communique on Monday.

“The strategy is aimed at securing vulnerable places such as Eid Praying grounds, recreational centres, major highways, government and private infrastructures against any security threats.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill 13 Police Officers In Zamfara

“This critical assignment will be executed in Collaboration with other Security Agencies and other critical stakeholders, all in a bid to ensure that, the celebration is peaceful and hitch-free,” the statement partly reads.

Personnel who are involved in this special assignment are under the strict instruction of the Commissioner of Police to be civil but firm in the discharge of their duties.

However, the Command warned parents and guardians to control their children against involvement in any act capable of undermining the peace of the state. Any person or group arrested in violation of law and order will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

The Commissioner Police facilitated with Muslim faithful and other citizens in the state as they celebrate Eid-el Kabir and enjoins them to co-operate with the police and other security agencies in an effort to ensure peaceful celebrations.

Residents in Zamfara are expected to report suspicious persons and objects to the nearest police station or call the following phone numbers, 08034537596, 08035318484, 08033422152, 08039655054, 09064296391.

Abductors of Zamfara College Provost Demand N5 Million Ransom

A map of Zamfara in north-west Nigeria.

 

The abductors of the provost of College of Agriculture and Animal Science Bakura, Mr Habibu Mainasara have demanded the sum of five million naira as ransom before they can release him.

Mr Mainasara was abducted at his official residence in the early hours of Sunday with two other persons.

The elder brother of the provost, Nasiru Mainasara told Channels Television that the bandits have been in contact with the family and that negotiations are ongoing for a reduction in the amount demanded.

He however confirmed that some prominent members of the community have told the family to stop the negotiation and assured them of his safe rescue.

The State Police command however denied knowledge of an ongoing negotiation between the family and the abductors.

Spokesperson Mohammed Shehu said the command has deployed search and rescue team to go after the abductors and ensure safe return of the victims.