Former Zamfara Deputy Governor Aliyu Gusau Withdraws From Guber Race

A file photo of ex-Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Mahdi Gusau, addressing reporters in the state capital.

 

Ahead of the gubernatorial primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the immediate past Deputy Governor of Zamfara State Barrister Mahdi Aliyu Gusau has stepped down from the race.

He announced this in a statement signed by his Principal Secretary Umar Aminu in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital on Wednesday.

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Mahdi Gusau urged the delegates, party leaders, and his supporters to vote for Dr. Lawal Dauda to emerge as the governorship candidate of the PDP in Zamfara State.

No reason was given for the decision. Barrister Mahdi Aliyu Gusau was impeached as Zamfara State Deputy Governor in February this year.

Zamfara APC Chieftain, Lawal Defects To PDP, Joins Governorship Race

A map of Zamfara in north-west Nigeria.

 

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State, Dr Dauda Lawal, has left the ruling party for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Lawal, a former Executive Director of First Bank PLC, also declared his interest to contest the governorship election on the platform of his new party – PDP.

He made the announcement over the weekend while addressing a crowd of supporters at his residence in Gusau, the state capital.

The governorship aspirant described the APC-led government both at the state and federal levels as a failure, saying that the party was tired and faltering.

He explained that his decision to join the governorship race was because of his concern for the security and economic challenges bedevilling various parts of Zamfara.

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Zamfara, he stated, was one of the worst-hit states in terms of insecurity and as a concerned citizen of the state, there was a need to bring the much-needed change in the affairs of governance in the state.

“We all know the challenges we are facing in the area of security,” he said. “Today I can tell you that Zamfara is one of the worst, if not the worst in the area of security and the reality is without security, there will be no meaningful life and we cannot basically do anything.”

Lawal added that it was a statement of fact that none of Zamfara State’s indigenes could sit for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) because of the failure of the state government to pay the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

“As we speak today, none of the Zamfara indigenes is going to write WAEC (examination) and you will agree with me that education today is the backbone of everything we do in life; without education, we are nobody,” the governorship aspirant avowed.

“In the area where we have a competitive advantage, which is agriculture, today we are nowhere and as a matter of fact, we are finding it very difficult to even feed ourselves not to consider exporting to our neighbours for commercial activities.”

He, therefore, appealed to the residents of Zamfara to come together and vote for change for the progress and development of the state.

Zamfara PDP Suspends State Chairman Over Alleged Anti-Party Activities

A photo of the Peoples Democratic Party's emblem.
A file photo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s emblem.
The Peoples Democratic Government (PDP) Zamfara chapter has suspended the state chairman over alleged anti-party activities.

Zamfara State PDP state working committee announced the suspension of Retired Colonel Bala Mande until an investigation into the allegations raised against him is concluded.

According to the statement by the state party publicity secretary Abba Bello on Wednesday in Gusau, the Chairman was suspended over anti-party activities.

“This became necessary owing to the fact that the State Chairman has been conducting the affairs of the party without the involvement of the State Working committee”.

The statement added that his actions are in clear violation of the various sections of the PDP constitution.

“It became necessary to forestall the abuse of power and the derailment of the rules governing the running of the party.

“The suspension is for a period of one month, this is expedient to allow the Working Committee to constitute a panel of inquiry into the allegation”.

“Considering the foregoing, the Vice-Chairman Kaura Namoda zone, Mallam Ali Namoda will oversee the activities of the party for the period of his suspension”.

Bello further said, the state working committee has inaugurated a panel of inquiry to investigate this allegation.

The members of the panel are Ahmed Sani Kaura Chairman, Bala Zurmi Member, Sanin Baba member, Abdulhadi Ahmed member, Suwaiba Bako Member Abul Mustapha member, and Barr. Ibrahim Jibril is to serve as Secretary

Reacting to the allegations, the suspended Chairman, Colonel Bala Mande (rtd) told Channels Television via telephone conversation that the purported suspension was orchestrated by the former deputy Governor of the State, Barrister Mahdi Aliyu Gusau because he does not want defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC)

According to Colonel Mande, he has been trying to bring people from other political parties especially from APC to join PDP in the state.

He said the impeached deputy Governor want to contest for the office of the Governor of Zamfara State under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party and opposed people from other political parties to join PDP

“Some frustrated persons who feel is losing grip of the party, is the former Deputy Governor of the state that is pushing them, he wants to contest for Governorship and he has issues and he is opposed to other people coming into the party from APC which we want the party to grow and enforced but he doesn’t want that.”

“He feels I am the one who is welcoming the idea of people coming into the party, so he get about four or five persons, they sat down somewhere and they made that announcement.” Colonel Mande concluded.

‘No Nigerian Law Determines How You Get Married’ – Yerima Speaks On Child Marriage

Former Zamfara State Governor, Senator Sani Yerima, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on May 10, 2022.

 

Former Zamfara State Governor and presidential aspirant under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Sani Yerima, on Tuesday on Tuesday said there is no Nigerian law that determines how and when one gets married.

Yerima stunned many Nigerians in 2009 by allegedly getting engaged to a 13-year-old Egyptian girl, paying $100,000 to the bride’s family.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, the ex-governor defended his decision, saying he never did anything wrong.

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According to him, there is no society in the country that has an age bracket before marriage can take place.

The senator explained that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) which initially wanted to try him was forced to drop the case because he did nothing wrong.

“There is no law in Nigeria that determines when and how you get married. Muslims have Sharia, the Christians I don’t know what their doctrines say,” he said.

“If I had done anything wrong, I would have been tried in court. NAPTIP wanted to try the case and they dropped the matter because I didn’t do anything wrong.

“Whatever you are doing, if you are ignorant of the law, then you are bound to have problems. Once you do anything according to law, you don’t have a problem in any society.”

When asked if he would consider marrying a minor again, he neither replied in an affirmative nor negative tone.

Rather, he said that under Sharia law, there are some criteria that will be followed before any marriage would take place.

He insisted that his decisions would always be backed by the law as he would never be caught doing anything unlawful.

The APC chieftain promised to turn around the fortunes of Nigeria should he clinch the APC’s ticket ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Bandits Attack Another Zamfara Community, Kill Seven Locals

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

 

No fewer than seven persons have been reportedly killed in Faru, a community in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

This comes barely two days after a deadly attack in another local government of the state which left at least 48 villagers dead.

During an interview with Channels Television, sources in Faru recounted how bandits invaded the community on Sunday afternoon.

The assailants who were heavily armed, an eyewitness said, stormed the community some minutes before 2pm and began to fire sporadic gunshots.

Another resident narrated that in the process, seven persons were killed while several others sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds.

However, police authorities in Zamfara have yet to react to the latest attack by bandits in the state.

Efforts to reach the command’s spokesperson, Muhammed Shehu, for comments were not successful at the time of this report.

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Before Sunday’s incident, bandits had killed at least 48 persons in Sabon Gari Damri, Damri, and Kalahe communities – all in Bakura Local Government Area of the state.

The Sole Administrator of Bakura Local Government, Aminu Suleiman, who confirmed the attack to Channels Television said the bandits, in their large number and riding on motorcycles, launched an attack via Sabon Gari Damri village around 2pm on Friday.

He said the assailants had killed nine people before proceeding to Damri community where they killed four persons, including a police officer and an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The bandits, according to Suleiman, set ablaze a Hilux vehicle belonging to the police in Damri before they left for Kalahe – a village between Sabon Gari Damri and Damri – where they killed eight persons.

He added that the bandits killed some patients who were receiving treatment when they attacked a healthcare facility in Damri, and were forced to retreat to Sabon Gari Damri where they killed dozens of persons again, following a gunfight with security operatives.

In all, Suleiman confirmed that a total of 48 people were killed during Friday’s attacks.

Buhari Condemns Zamfara Attacks, Asks Military To End Bandits’ Activities

Buhari Condemns Gombe Killings, Condoles With Victims' Families
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the recent attacks by bandits on communities in Zamfara State.

Channels Television had reported that no fewer than 55 people were killed in separate attacks by bandits in four Zamfara communities in three days.

The affected communities are Sabon Gari Damri, Damri, and Kalahe – in Bakura Local Government Area, as well as Faru in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara.

In a statement on Sunday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President asked the military to stop the killings by the terrorists.

READ ALSO: Bandits Attack Another Zamfara Community, Kill Seven Locals

“We mustn’t allow the return of days when the bandits had a free hand to do as they wished,” he was quoted to have said. “The rural folk in Zamfara and elsewhere must be allowed to have peace.

“Therefore, the momentum that has been developed must be sustained in order to bring closure to the activities of these murderers.”

He expressed condolences to the families of the victims as well as the government and people of the State, adding that the combined efforts of the Federal and State governments must do all that can be done to bring an immediate end to the horrific killings.

President Buhari, however, commended the military for the incessant onslaught and for not showing any let up as they continue to achieve positive outcomes based on their current operational trajectory in Zamfara, as well as other states in the North West.

According to him, there appears to be relative calm in the state with situations returning to normal in most parts and locals in the rural communities ready to live their lives normally again.

The President, however, decried several breaches recorded recently, especially in view of the latest attacks on the communities where a number of casualties were recorded.

Fire Guts INEC LG Office In Zamfara

The office of the electoral umpire in Kaura Namoda Local Government Area of Zamfara State was gutted by fire on May 2, 2022.

 

Fire has gutted one of the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara State.

The affected facility is the office of the electoral umpire in Kaura Namoda Local Government Area of the state, locals said.

Neither the Zamfara State Police Command nor the INEC authorities in the state have confirmed the incident or if there was any casualty, as of the time of this report.

The INEC’s Head of Voters’ Education and Publicity in Zamfara State could not be reached as efforts to do so were unsuccessful.

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Locals say the fire started at about 9pm at the INEC office in Kaura Namoda Local Government Area of Zamfara State on May 2, 2022.

 

Recounting how the incident occurred, residents told Channels Television that the fire started at about 9pm on Monday and razed almost the entire building.

They stated that although firefighters arrive at the scene in good time to put out the fire, their efforts were unsuccessful as a result of the lack of water in their tank.

While the cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained, an eyewitness told Channels Television via telephone on Tuesday that nothing was removed from the burnt INEC office.

Protest In Zamfara As PDP Screens State And Legislative Aspirants

 

There was a disagreement between some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the screening exercise of the aspirants vying for state and federal legislative seats in the 2023 general election.

Some of the members of the party want the exercise to be put on hold and others want it to commence as scheduled.

Both parties later took a compromising stance to allow the screening committee to carry out the exercise as planned and issue certificates to the cleared aspirants.

The secretary of the committee for the screening exercise, Ishaq Hadi, admitted that there was uneasy calm earlier at the venue of the exercise but the situation has been put under control and the exercise is being carried out.

He appealed to members of the PDP to embrace unity and peace to ensure the smooth conduct of the screening and the victory of the party in the 2023 general election.

The Deputy Chairman of the Zamfara State chapter of the PDP, who is also one of the aspirants for the House of Representatives seat, Professor Kabiru Jabaka, stressed that there is strength in unity hence the need for members of the party to be united.

He called on members of the party to note the challenges the party faces in the state and urged them to work harmoniously in order to win the 2023 general election in the state in particular and the country in general.

Also, a member of the Zamfara State House of Assembly under the platform of the PDP, Salisu Usman, commended the conduct of the screening exercise.

The protest against carrying out the PDP screening exercise as scheduled may not be unconnected with those groups Zamfara State PDP who are expecting their arrival into its folk to enable them to participate in the process.

Zamfara Govt Arraigns Two Deposed Emirs 

A file photo of a court gavel.
A court gavel.

 

 

Zamfara State Government has arraigned the two deposed emirs at the State’s chief magistrate court.

The two monarchs have been arraigned on a five-count charge that borders on criminal conspiracy, withholding of evidence, illegal possession of property, alliance with bandits

They were arraigned at the Zamfara State chief Magistrate court 1 where the presiding Judge, Saadu Garba heard charges.

Counsels to the two emirs objected to the jurisdiction of the chief magistrate court to entertain the case citing law number 7 of Zamfara State 2019 that all persons who proclaim Islamic faith can not be tried at the magistrate court except Sharia court, hence the transfer of the matter to the upper Sharia Court 1.

READ ALSO: Zamfara Govt Dethrones Two Emirs, District Head Accused Of Aiding Banditry

The presiding Judge of the Upper Sharia 1, Samaru, Gusau, Justice Hadi Sani after listening to the application for bail by defending counsels, granted the two monarchs bails on health grounds, age, and considering the fact that they had been in detention for about 10 to 11 months.

The bail conditions are the two monarchs must produce three surety which must be a prominent businessman, renowned Islamic scholar, and senior civil Servant who have N100 million, they would remain in the State and they must seek the permission of the Court whenever they need to visit the hospital for medical attention.

The State Prosecutor Aliyu Alkali had objected to the bail application on the ground that the two traditional rulers have been arraigned in court over allegations of their involvement in banditry activities.

He said the law gave the court the jurisdiction to grant or decline bail therefore they have no problem with the bail granted to the two Zamfara State monarchs.

The lead counsel to the deposed emirs, Bello Usman, expressed satisfaction with the decision of the court to give the dethroned monarch bail given the fact that they have been in detention for about eleven months despite their health and age.

Zamfara Govt Dethrones Two Emirs, District Head Accused Of Aiding Banditry

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

The Zamfara State government has dethroned two emirs and a district head over allegations of aiding the activities of bandits terrorising communities in the state.

Those affected by the government’s decision include the Emir of Zurmi, Abubakar Atiku, Emir of Dansadau, Hussaini Umar, as well as Sulaiman Ibrahim who used to be the District Head of Birnin Tsaba.

Mr Ibrahim Dosara, who is the Commissioner for Information in Zamfara, made the announcement on Wednesday while briefing reporters at the end of the State Executive Council meeting in Gusau, the state capital.

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“The council has approved the deposition of Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and that of Dansadau, Alhaji Hussaini Umar,” he declared.

“The council also approved the immediate removal of the District Head of Birnin-Tsaba, Alhaji Sulaiman Ibrahim.”

According to the commissioner, the government has also ordered that all land titles issued by the affected traditional leaders be revoked.

“The State Executive Council has also directed the state Ministry of Justice to issue an executive order to back up the council resolution,” he added.

The deposition of the traditional leaders comes 10 months after they were suspended by the state government.

It also comes days after the submission of the reports of the committees set up by the state government to investigate the allegations against the affected traditional rulers.

“The council upheld the recommendation of a six-man white paper committee set up by the government to review the report of two separate committees earlier set up to investigate the involvement of the three traditional rulers in the activities of banditry in the state,” said a statement by Governor Bello Matawalle’s media aide, Zailani Bappa.

“The three impeached royal fathers were earlier suspended by the state government following wide allegations of serious involvement in the act of banditry in the state.

“The findings of the committees also revealed abuse of the Land Act in their domain and the government ordered the reversal to status quo involving the lands illegally allocated.”

How Troops Repelled Attack On Zamfara Village, Killed Many Bandits – LG Boss

A file photo of soldiers on patrol.

 

Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have repelled what could have been a deadly attack on Bakura Village in Zamfara State, Mr Aminu Suleiman told Channels Television.

Suleiman, who is the sole administrator of Bakura Local Government Area of the state, narrated how the incident occurred during an interview on Wednesday.

He said the heavily armed bandits, in their large numbers, launched the attack on the community at about 1:30pm on Tuesday and rustled several cattle and other items from the locals.

According to the council boss, some locals resisted the bandits from leaving with the stolen cattle which led to the bandits firing sporadic gunshots.

In the process, about 10 residents sustained various degrees of injury and one of them died later.

This photo shows the guns recovered by troops during the incident.

 

“The locals were trying to prevent them from leaving with the cattle; that was when they sustained the gunshot injuries,” Suleiman recounted. “Two were seriously injured and we took them to Sokoto Hospital, the remaining ones were treated at the General Hospital, Bakura.”

He stated that not long after the terrorists invaded the community, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji stationed in Bakura town quickly mobilised to the area alongside some local vigilantes to engage the bandits.

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“Luckily enough, we have many troops there because apart from the main troops in Bakura town, we have some to clear our forest. So, 10 gun trucks mobilised to the place immediately,” the Council boss stated.

The security operatives, according to him, killed many of the bandits while some of the terrorists escaped with gunshot wounds.

The bandits were forced to abandon the rustled cattle.

 

Suleiman added that all the rustled cattle and other valuable items were recovered from the bandits, as well as three AK-47 rifles and one operational motorcycle.

“They (troops) engaged them (the bandits) in a gun battle, killing some of them and recovered weapons and their motorcycle,” he said. “Residents should always be vigilant and pass the necessary information to military personnel.

“They succeeded yesterday because we got the information on time; so, if residents corporate by giving out the information at the appropriate time, we will succeed all the time. There’s no way bandits will attack a town like Bakura in the afternoon and escape with cattle.”

A resident of Bakura village, who pleaded anonymity, also recounted how the incident occurred, saying the armed men shot sporadically to scare residents who ran for safety.

He, however, said the bandits were unlucky as troops deployed at Bakura town responded swiftly and engaged them in a fierce gun battle that lasted about two hours.

According to the resident, the superior firepower of the soldiers forced the bandits to abandon the rustled cattle and flee into the forest with many of them sustaining various degrees of gunshot wounds.

He added that the troops killed many of the terrorists as some of them were seen carried by their accomplices towards the forest after they were immobilised by the gunshot injuries sustained.

“We are happy with the quick response of the Nigerian Army troops here in Bakura,” the source said. “They have assisted us in killing many of the bandits who invaded our community and they also helped us to recover all the cattle stolen by the bandits.”

UPDATED: Bandits Abduct Five Female Students Of Zamfara College, Threaten To Marry Victim

Banditry is common in northwest Nigeria.

 

Bandits have invaded a residential area in Tsafe town and abducted five students of the College of Health Science and Technology, Tsafe, Zamfara State. One of them escaped from the abductors. 

The Provost of the College, Yusuf Idris, who confirmed the incident which happened on Wednesday, said the student sustained injuries and is receiving medical attention at the Tsafe General Hospital.

He said the abductors have contacted one of the victim’s mother, threatening to marry her if the ransom is not paid. Mr. Yusuf appealed to the parents of the kidnapped students to remain calm as the school authority and security agencies are working round the clock to ensure the safe return of the students.

A source in the area, who narrated the incident, told Channels Television that the students were abducted when heavily armed men stormed their residence outside the school campus.

He said the bandits could not gain entrance to the school due to the heavy presence of security personnel.


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Police authorities in Zamfara State have also confirmed the abductions. The spokesperson of the command, Muhammed Shehu, said troops have been deployed to trail the bandits and rescue the victims unhurt.

Normal academic activities are going on at the college premises while students are going about their normal daily activities.

The school authority has, however, instructed students living off-campus to avoid some areas in the town for security purposes.

Wednesday’s incident adds to the long list of the kidnapping of students in Nigeria’s northwest region where banditry has gained roots.

Several schools in the area have been attacked in recent months with scores of students kidnapped but later released. Authorities have, however, denied paying ransom for the freed students.

As part of plans to tame it, some governments across the region last year introduced a string of measures including banning of sales of petroleum products in jerry cans and blockage of telecommunication services. But the moves were reversed months after.

The Federal Government had also designated the bandits as terrorists as calls mount for more military actions against the criminals.

Despite efforts by the government, banditry is on the rise and critics have accused authorities of being complacent in tackling the menace.