Gun Acquisition Directive To Complement Security Forces, Says Matawalle

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle has clarified that his directive urging people to acquire firearms is for them to complement the efforts of security forces in the ongoing war against insurgency. 

He made the clarification on Monday while inaugurating four special committees at the Government House in Gusau, the State capital.

The governor explained that the committees were being inaugurated to ensure proper implementation of the security measures being taken to tackle the upsurge of banditry in the State.


READ ALSO: Zamfara Governor Cannot Instruct CP To Issue Gun Licences – General Irabor


The four special committees established today include Committee on Intelligence Gathering and Bandits’ Informants, Committee on Prosecution of Banditry Related Offences, Management of Community Protection Guards and Special Standing Security Committee.

Matawalle stated that in recent weeks, Zamfara has witnessed terrorists’ attacks in various communities, especially within Bukkuyum, Gusau and Gummi Local Government Areas of the State.

The governor reiterated that his administration will continue to explore strategies to crush the security challenges and the sufferings endured by the citizens in the hands of the terrorists.

He noted that the government is aware of the efforts of the security forces in tackling the prevailing insecurity, however, the governor opined that the efforts of the armed forces have been impeded by lack of modern war hardware and adequate manpower, hence the reason decided that the people should procure weapons to defend themselves against the terrorists.

Governor Matawalle disclosed that the state government has provide 20 Hilux vehicles and 500 motorbikes to the special Committees to make their jobs and movements easier.

Speaking also at the inauguration of the committees today, the chairman of the Special Committee on Prosecution of Banditry Related Activities, Abdullahi Shinkafi warned criminal elements to distance themselves from Zamfara State as it is time to deal decisively with anyone found culpable no matter how highly placed he or she may be in the society.

Banditry: Individuals Now Allowed To Obtain Guns For Self-Defense – Zamfara Govt

A photo combination of the map of Zamfara State and a gun recovered from criminals.

 

The Zamfara State Government has directed residents of the state to obtain guns in order to defend themselves against bandits who appear to be ravaging the state.

The directive was contained in a statement by the Commissioner for Information Mr. Ibrahim Dosara on Saturday.

According the government, the measure became necessary following the deteriorating security situation in parts of the state.

Read Also: Bandits Kill Catholic Priest In Kaduna

“Government has henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, as government has directed the state commissioner of police to issue license to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves,” the statement partly read.

The commissioner further noted that the government has already concluded arrangements to distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 emirates in the state for those willing to obtain the guns.

Dosara asked those who are qualified and willing to own guns to reach out to the state Commissioner of Police and obtain gun licenses after satisfying the necessary criteria.

Beyond obtaining guns, the state government has also ordered for the recruitment of 200 additional Community Protection Guards in each of the 19 emirates of the state.

Additionally, Governor Mohammed Matawalle has ordered that all markets within the Mada, Wonaka, and Ruwan Bore Districts of Gusau local government, as well as Yansoto emirate in Tsafe local government area be shut, while motorcycle operations have been banned.

Read The Full Statement Below:

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION HEADQUARTERS, GUSAU

SPECIAL GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT.

Following increase in the activities of bandits in various parts of the state and the government commitment to ensure adequate security and protection of lives and property of the citizenry in the state, particularly during this rainy season, government has resolved to take further measures to deal with the recent escalating attacks, kidnapping and the criminal levies being enforced on our innocent communities.

This act of terrorism has been a source of worry and concern to the people and government of the state. Therefore, in order to deal decisively with the situation in our respective communities, government has no option than to take the following measures:

A. Government has henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, as government has directed the state commissioner of police to issue license to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves. Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers to secure basic weapons for defending themselves. Government has already concluded arrangement to distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 Emirates in the state for those willing to obtain guns to defend themselves.

B. People must apply from the Commissioner of Police, license to own guns and such other basic weapons to be used in defending themselves.

C. A secretariat or centre will be established for the collection of intelligence on the activities of informants.

D. people are strictly warned and advised to make sure that any information or intelligence about an informant must be true and nothing but the truth, as all information on such informants must carry correct data on the suspects, including their pictures, correct names, address, occupation and witness to testify the genuity of the information given, as government is taking punitive measures against any one found as informant. Any person who give wrong information against anybody, will be served the same punishment with an informant and will be treated as such.

E. Government has requested the state House of Assembly to pass, as matter of urgency, the informants bill before it, to enable government take the drastic measures on informants as contained in the bill.

F. Government has ordered for the recruitment of 200 additional Community Protection Guards in each of the 19 emirates of the state, making it 500 per emirate, to increase their manpower and strengthen its force and capacity to deal with the bandits.
To further ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of these measures, as well the proper implementation of these measures, government has also decided as follows:

1. Formation of a special committee to receive intelligence on the activities of informants.
This committee has the following composition:

1. Alhaji Kabiru Balarabe Sardau( Lamidon Kaura)
SSG as Chairman

2. Alh Ibrahim Sulaiman
Chief of Staff to the Governor – Member

3. D I G Mamman Ibrahim Tsafe
Commissioner Security – Member

4. Ibrahim Magaji Dosara
Commissioner Information – Member

5. Hon Nasiru Masama
Commissioner Youth – Member

6. Sani Abdullahi Wamban Shinkafi
Honorary Adviser to the Gov – Member

7. Hon Abubakar Mohammed Dauran
Specie Adviser Security – Member

8. Hon Sanusi Wanzammai
Commissioner, State INEC – Member

9. Captain Mai Riga T/ Mafara – Memner

10. Sani Gwamna Mayanchi – Memner

11. Bello Bakyasuwa Soja to serve as the secretary to the committee and their terms of reference will be given to them by the office of the SSG on Monday.

2. Formation of additional paramilitary unit to support control and command to properly and effectively reinforce the operations of our community protection guards CPG.

This newly established unit has the following structures and appointments:

1. Retired Commissioner of Police Mamman Anka as Commandant – General

2. Capt Aminu Mada rtd – Deputy Commandant General Operations

3. Sulaiman Lawali Zurmi – Commandant Operations

4. Bashir Nafiu Gusau – Commandant Mobilization.

5. Alh Aliyu Na’ibi Karakkai – Commandant Surveillance and Intelligence.

Other members of the control and command centre of the Community Protection Guards are.

6. Shi’itu Makera T/Mafara

7. Bello Dankurmi

8. Dogo Na Bukkuyum

3. Re – constitutimg the state committee on prosecution of banditry related offences.
Government has also reconstituted the state committee on prosecution of bandits related offences as follows:

1. Dr Sani Abdullahi Wanban Shinkafi as Chairman

2. Ibrahim Sulaiman
Chief of Staff to the Governor – Member

3. Rtd Justice Nasiru Umar Gummi – Member

4. CP Mamman Anka rtd – Member

5. Engr Mamuda Aliyu Maradun – Member

6. Rep of the Nigerian Army – Member

7. Rep of the Nigeria Police – Member

8. Rep of the DSS – Membet

9. Rep of the Civil Defence Corps – Member

10. Rep of Hunters – Member, while

11. Barr Aminu Junaidu Kaura

Hon Attorney General and Commissioner for justice – Secretary to the committee.

Furthermore, in view of the deteriorating security situation in Mada, Wonaka, and Ruwan Bore Districts of Gusau local government, as well as Yansoto emirate in Tsafe local government, His Excellency, Governor Mohammed Matawalle MON, Barden Hausa and Shatiman Sokoto, has approved the immediate closure of all.markets and Kara in these districts and Yandoto emirate indefinitely. In addition this, government has equally banned riding of motorbikes and selling of petroleum products in Mada, Wonaka and Ruwan Bore districts, as well as Yandoto emirate.

Henceforth, all filling stations on the affected areas are hereby closed with immediate effect. Anybody found riding motorbike within the areas is considered as bandits and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight. Security agencies are by this announcement directed to ensure strict compliance. Anybody found violating this order should be dealt with according to the rule of law. Government would not condone any act where innocent people are being killed.

Government is also using this medium to thank all those who honoured and respect the peace dialogue in what ever form. In the same vein, those who refused to honour and respect the peace dialogue are here by warned to allow peace within our respective communities. Government is hereby directing the military, police, civil defence and other security agencies to mobilise their operatives and take fight to the enclaves of the criminals with immediate effect.

Signed

Ibrahim Magaji Dosara
Hon Commissioner for Information
Zamfara State

Residents Flee As Bandits Attack Zamfara Communities

A file photo of two armed men.

 

Residents of Mada district under Gusau Local Government have fled their homes following fresh attacks by bandits.

The latest attacks in Mada and surrounding villages started on Thursday when the bandits killed one local vigilante and abducted about seven people.

On Friday, the bandits launched another attack on the same Mada Community at about 5:00 pm, fired heavy gun-shots at the residents and abducted three others.

Read Also: [Banditry] Individuals Now Allowed To Obtain Guns For Self-Defense – Zamfara Govt

Later that same day, the gunmen attacked Gidan Bangi community of Ruwan-bore under Mada district and killed 12 people.

The incessant attacks resulted in several residents fleeing their homes to safer communities like Kwatarkwashi.

According to one of the residents of the community, members of the affected communities had planned to protest as a result of series of attacks but the planned protest was disrupted by the security agencies.

Efforts to speak with the spokesperson of the state Police command, SP Mohammed Shehu were not successful as he did not respond to several phone calls put across to him.

Meanwhile, as part of efforts to curb the rising trend of insecurity within the state and environs, the government has directed residents to obtain guns in order to defend themselves against bandits who appear to be ravaging the state.

The directive was contained in a statement by the Zamfara Commissioner for Information Mr. Ibrahim Dosara on Saturday.

“Government has henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, as government has directed the state commissioner of police to issue license to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves,” the statement partly read.

Bandits Abduct ’50 Wedding Guests’ Along Sokoto-Zamfara Highway

Suspected terrorists abducted an unspecified number of traders travelling along the Kaduna- Birnin Gwari Road
A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Bandits have abducted no fewer than 50 wedding guests travelling along the Sokoto-Zamfara road.

Those abducted include Telephone Marketers at the popular Bebeji Plaza in Gusau.

They were returning to Gusau after attending a wedding of their colleague in Sokoto State when the incident happened between Tureta-Bakura road around 6 PM on Saturday

The vehicles conveying the wedding guests were a Toyota coaster bus belonging to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), a Gusau Local Government Secretariat staff vehicle and two other private vehicles.

Secretary of Union of Communication, Zamfara State, Ashiru Zurmi, while narrating the incident to journalists in Gusau on Sunday said one of the vehicles conveying the guests developed a fault at Tureta in Sokoto state and it was fixed by an automobile mechanic after about 40 minutes.

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He said the bandits ambushed the vehicles after the repair of the faulty vehicle along Tureta-Bakura road and over 50 persons were abducted.

Zurmi noted that more than 20 persons later managed to escape, while some of them sustained various degrees of injuries.

“It happened that their motor developed fault at Tureta and they got a mechanic; for about 40 minutes, he assisted them and got the motor repaired; they started coming to Zamfara but within the Tureta and Bakura axis, the kidnappers ambushed them; over 50 people were abducted but Alhamdulilah over 20 people escaped,” Zurmi said.

He confirmed that 30 members are currently in captivity and the abductors have contacted the members of their Union, confirming that they are with them.

“We have identified thirty members that are still in captive, luckily today they used phones of those captives (about five of our members) to call us; they only notified us that they are with them.”

According to him, no ransom has been demanded yet by the bandits.

The Secretary of the Union also suspected the involvement of informants which he said might have notified the kidnappers about their movement.

“Definitely something like that happened; we have that in our minds that there was an informant that gave the information to the bandits to attack them because it was just only them, other passenger cars were passing but they did not care about them, they only concentrated on the coaster bus that has Zamfara Government number.”

Zurmi appealed to relevant authorities for urgent intervention and to ensure safe return of the abductees.

He also give a 48-hour ultimatum for security agencies and government authorities to ensure the rescue of the abductees

Police Authorities in Sokoto State have yet to confirm the incident.

Governor Matawalle Wins APC Governorship Primary In Zamfara

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

Governor Bello Matawalle has emerged the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State.

The Chairman Electoral Committee for the APC governorship primary election in the state, Babagana Tijani, announced that Matawalle polled 733 votes to emerge as the winner of the primary election.

The governor secured the ticket for his second term bid unopposed as other aspirants in the race withdrew from the contest as a result of the consensus arrangement which the APC in Zamfara State adopted as the mode of the exercise.

READ ALSO: Nwifuru Wins Ebonyi APC Governorship Primary

At the primary, 735 delegates voted with the governor getting 733 votes, while two votes were invalid.

Reacting to the outcome of the exercise, Governor Bello Matawalle thanked the delegates for voting for him to be the candidate of the party in the 2023 general election.

He promised to work with party faithfuls and supporters to deepen democratic practices in the state.

The exercise was carried out without rancour in the presence of security agents, representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the media.

Take Battle To Bandits’ Doorstep, Matawalle Urges Military

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle has called on the military to persist in taking the battle to the bandits’ doorstep as a major panacea to the lingering insurgency in the state.

Governor Matawalle made the inference when he received a visiting team from the Army War College of Nigeria who were on a study visit to the Operation Hadarin Daji in the state.

Matawalle was of the opinion that if the military adopts total pro-active measures, the issue of banditry in the state will soon become a history.

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“The tactics you supposed to do as at now is not for you to be waiting for an enemy to attack, is for you to take battle to their doorstep because Army are not supposed to wait for enemy to attack them, rather they take battle to doorstep of the enemy.”

He however, acknowledged that the Military is overstretched and also in need of more modern equipment at the moment.

“We understand that the Military is overstretched due to the multiple security challenges facing the Country as a result of which all the men in the service are currently engaged,” Governor Matawalle observed.

He however, advised that retired Military officers be re-engaged into the service while the Government further pursue its laudable efforts at acquiring more modern equipment to address insecurity in the country.

The governor while further commending the efforts Of the military in the state over the years, assured members of the Army War College that he will continue to give his utmost support towards their operations until peace is restored in Zamfara State.

Bandits Kill 48 In Fresh Zamfara Attacks

A map of Zamfara in north-west Nigeria.

 

At least 48 persons have been reportedly killed in a deadly attack by armed bandits in three communities of Zamfara State

The communities are Sabon Gari Damri, Damri and Kalahe in Bakura Local Government Area of the State

The Sole Administrator of Bakura Local Government, Aminu Suleiman confirmed the attack to Channels Television on Saturday via telephone conversation

He said the bandits, in their large number and riding on motorcycles, launched an attack via Sabon Gari Damri village around 2pm on Friday.

They reportedly killed nine people and then proceeded to Damri community where they killed four persons including a Police officer and personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Notorious Gang Leader In Zamfara

The outlaws also set ablaze a Hilux vehicle belonging to the Nigerian Police.

The bandits then killed eight persons in Kalahe community, a village between Sabon Gari Damri and Damri town

According to Suleiman, the bandits attacked a healthcare facility in Damri town and killed some patients who were receiving treatment in the hospital.

“The bandits in their large number were on motorcycles with three persons on each motorcycle first attacked Sabon Gari Damri and killed four people,” he said.

“Gradually they entered Damri town, burnt one Hilux vehicle belonging to the Nigerian Police, they killed one Police officer also and one Civil Defence officer.”

According to the Council Boss, the military engaged the bandits in Damri community in a fierce gun battle which forced the bandits to retreat back to Sabon Gari Damri and kill 26 persons.

“Military personnels entered the town and exchange fire and forced the bandits to move back to Sabon Gari Damri, after killing nine people at the village, they went back and killed about twenty-one people.”

Suleiman confirmed that a total of 48 people were killed during the attacks.

Police authorities in the state are yet to comment on the latest attack.

Police Arrest Notorious Gang Leader In Zamfara

A map of Zamfara in north-west Nigeria.

 

The police in Zamfara State on Friday said it had arrested a leader of an outlawed group, Yansakai, in Zamfara State.

According to the a statement signed by police spokesperson Mohammed Shehu, the arrest was in connection to a case of culpable homicide and inciting disturbance in Tungar Dutsi village, Bukkuyum local government area.

“On 3rd May, 2022, DPO Bukkuyum Division responded to a distress call from Tungar Dutsi Community in Gana district of Bukkuyum LGA. That some members of the outlawed group popularly known as “Yansakai” from Tungar Bido Village led by its notorious leader Bala Minister, invaded Tungar Dutsi village armed with locally made guns/other dangerous weapons in the name of Sallah Celebration and started shooting sporadically, causing panic and fear within the community,” the statement said.

READ ALSO: Army Chief Visits Sokoto, Asks Troops To Eliminate Bandits

“When some members of community cautioned them against the sporadic shooting, the outlawed group members escalated their nefarious action to attacking people with cutlass, knives and other dangerous weapons. As a result of which one Surajo Alhaji Ali, a 40 yrs old man was gruesomely killed by the outlawed group.

“The leader of the group was arrested by the Police, while others fled and escaped to unknown destination. In the course of interrogation, the suspect confessed to the offence and further mentioned the names of his collaborators now at large.

“Discreet investigation is in progress to further arrest his accomplices and charge them to court for prosecution.”

Four Abducted Students Of Zamfara College Regain Freedom

College of Health Science and Technology, Tsafe, Zamfara State.
A photo combination of a man holding a gun and the logo of the College of Health Science and Technology, Tsafe, Zamfara State.

 

The four abducted students of Zamfara State College of Health Science and Technology have regained their freedom.

The Deputy Provost of the college, Jamilu Lawali confirmed their release to Channels Television via telephone conversation on Thursday evening.

According to him, the four female students were released by their abductors on Thursday at a location close to Tsafe town.

READ ALSO: Buhari To Meet With Service Chiefs On Tuesday

He said no ransom was paid for their release

“They were released this evening at a location close to Tsafe town, the school did not pay a dime for their release,” he said.

The four students are currently at an undisclosed hospital receiving medical treatment.

Matawalle Distributes 260 ‘Brand New Cars’ To Traditional Rulers In Zamfara

A cross-section of brand new cars gifted to traditional rulers in Zamfara State in April 2022.
A cross-section of brand new cars gifted to traditional rulers in Zamfara State in April 2022.

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle has distributed 260 assorted cars to all the traditional rulers in the state.

The distribution was performed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar at the Government House in Gusau.

Governor Matawalle said the gesture was done in recognition of the status of the traditional institutions as the custodians of our religion and culture and vehicle of cohesion and peace in our societies.

READ ALSO: Bandits Have Displaced 700,000 People In Zamfara – Govt

“It is in view of the high esteem with which my administration regards our traditional leaders and institutions that we decided to procure brand new cars, Cadillac 2019 Model, for 17 Emirs, 13 Senior District Heads and 230 District Heads across the State”, the Governor said.

Governor Matawalle assured that his administration will continue to work with traditional and religious leaders to ensure lasting peace and harmony in the state.

“I would like to assure you that my administration will continue to work in line with the mission of uplifting the dignity and sanctity of our traditional institutions through all possible means,” he said.

“We are currently rehabilitating and reconstructing some of the palaces of our emirs across the State. Some of these projects would soon be completed.”

Court Upholds Conviction Of Ahmed Balarabe Over N8m Job Scam

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
A court gavel.

 

The Court of Appeal Sokoto Division, has upheld the 14-year jail term handed to a Deputy Director of Federal Character Commission, Alh. Ahmed Balarabe, by a Zamfara State High Court, for allegedly defrauding some job seekers of N8 million.

According to a statement signed by the Spokesperson, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, Balarabe was charged before Justice Bello Shinkafi of the Zamfara State High Court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on two counts of obtaining by false pretense.

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The court was told how Balarabe, while being the coordinator of the Federal Character Commission in Zamfara and Sokoto States between 2017 and 2018, collected over N8 million from unsuspecting job seekers with the promise of giving them jobs, thereby contravening Section 1 (1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006.

Justice Shinkafi then sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment with an option of fine of N500, 000 and also ruled that the convict pays back N7 million to the victims of the crime.

However, dissatisfied with the ruling, the convict had approached the appellate court to quash the judgment of the trial court.

While his counsel, Mr. A. Y. Abubakar argued that the court should dismiss the judgment, ICPC Counsel, Mashkur Salisu, argued that the conviction was in line with the provisions of the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006 violated by Balarabe.

Having listened to the argument from the two counsels, the court unanimously dismissed the appeal on the ground of lack of merit and affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Bandits Have Displaced 700,000 People In Zamfara – Govt

A photo combination of the map of Zamfara State and a gun recovered from criminals.

 

The Zamfara State Government said that over seven hundred thousand people are currently displaced from their homes due to banditry and are now taking refuge in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps across the state.

The state’s commissioner for information, Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, while addressing newsmen at a briefing in Kaduna State, said each of the 14 local government areas of the state currently has emergency relief desk officers shouldering the responsibilities of assisting the IDPs in their respective councils.

Alhaji Dosara further noted that the Humanitarian Ministry has established eight centres to take care of the hundreds of thousands that have been displaced so far.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest 30 Suspects For Complicity In Banditry, Kidnapping, Other Violent Crimes

Dosara appreciated the untiring efforts of the ministry and other international donor agencies who have been complementing the efforts of the state government “through cash transfers to the IDPs ranging from N30,000 to N40,000 periodically to these victims”.

He also commended the Federal Government for committing huge sums in the same regard.

The commissioner said the humanitarian agencies have embarked on training some of the victims, helping them acquire various skills including but not limited to tailoring, barbing, and pure water making.

They are also said to have provided tricycles popularly called Keke-NAPEP for some beneficiaries.

In another vein, the Commissioner of Security and Homes Affairs, DIG Mamman Tsafe, while addressing the press said the state has recruited 4,200 Community Protection Guards (CPG).

According to Mr Tsafe, guards recruited comprised of ex-servicemen, volunteer able-bodied men, and other patriotic citizens of the state willing to support security operatives to confront the bandits in their enclaves with a view to curtailing the menace.

The commissioner, while assuring those present that the guards have been well trained on how to handle arms, said recruiting these individuals will provide the supported need to oust the bandits from the state.