Bandits Kidnap Imam, 17 Worshippers At Zamfara Mosque – Police

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Bandits on motorcycles have attacked a Jumuat mosque in Zamfara and abducted the imam and 17 other worshippers in a community in Zamfara State, the police said on Sunday.

The attack reportedly took place on Friday.

According to the police spokesperson in the state, Mohammed Shehu, the bandits arrived during a congregational prayer at Dutsen Gari, a farming community in Kanoma district of Maru local government area.

READ ALSO: Zamfara Governor Secures Release Of 11 Kidnapped Victims

The gunmen killed some members of the community during the attack, the police said.

The police spokesperson said efforts have been set in motion to rescue the abducted person.

The attack is the latest in a string of kidnappings that have rocked Nigeria’s northwest in recent years.

Recently, Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, said he had secured the rescue of 11 kidnapped persons in the state.

Zamfara Governor Secures Release Of 11 Kidnapped Victims

 

Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle has secured the rescue of 11 kidnapped victims in the state.

Ten of the victims were male and a female from Bukkuyum Local Government Area.

Matawalle received the rescued kidnapped victims on Saturday night at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Nasarawa APC Chairman, Shekwo

The Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Muhammed Dauran said the victims were released without paying a ransom.

He said they were released as a result of the peace initiative and stakeholders meeting summoned by Governor Matawalle with all critical stakeholders from Bukkuyum Local Government Area on Thursday.

While receiving the kidnapped victims, Governor Matawalle assured that his administration will not rest on its oars until total peace is achieved in all parts of the state.

The Governor explained that the peace accord and reconciliation process with repentant bandits will be sustained in the state, while those unrepentant ones will face the full wrath of the law.

He directed that the victims should be taken to the Hospital to ascertain their Health status before their final release to their respective families.

Matawalle Secures Release Of 26 Girls, Insists Dialogue With Bandits Is Relevant

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, during a state broadcast on May 4, 2020.

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has secured the release of 26 girls abducted by bandits.

The Special Adviser to the governor on Public Enlightenment, Media, and Communications, Zailani Bappa, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Governor Matawalle who received the rescued girls following their release insisted that dialogue with bandits was still very relevant in the fight against banditry.

He stressed that his administration would not abandon the peace dialogue with bandits as firepower alone cannot solve the problem of banditry in Zamfara and other states facing similar challenges.

“This is a testimony to our vision for engaging the bandits in peace dialogue,” the governor was quoted as saying in the statement.

He added, “For those who believe we are wrong to dialogue with the bandits, the securing of these minors who are all girls and unhurt, is indeed, priceless”.

All the girls, who are minors and are indigenes of Katsina State, are said to have regained freedom without the payment of any ransom.

They were kidnapped by bandits in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State and brought into the bushes of Zamfara State.

According to the statement, the victims were miraculously discovered by the Zamfara State government and got released through negotiations.

The negotiations held under the Commissioner Of Police and Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs in Zamfara, who have been in constant dialogue with bandits on behalf of the state government on the need to embrace peace and live a normal life.

The 26 rescued girls, whose ages range between eight and 12, were medically checked and provided with new clothes while Governor Matawalle ordered their safe return to Katsina.

This brings the total number of those released by bandits in Zamfara in the last one week to at least 40.

Zamfara Governor Commiserates With Victims Of Bandit Attack

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle has commiserated with the victims of bandits attack in Gidan Goga village in the Maradun Local Government Area of the state.

The governor’s condolence message was contained in a statement issued on Friday by his media aide, Zailani Bappa.

While sympathising with those who underwent the trauma as well, the governor assured that the recent attacks is “not a security lapse but a momentary hiccup that will not be allowed to last.”

READ ALSO: Four Killed, Others Injured As Bandits Attack Zamfara Community

To the governor,  the attack exposes the desperation of the bandits who he said are experiencing heavy pressure from the offensive launched by security operatives in recent times.

“I want to assure our law obedient citizens of Zamfara State that the experience we are undergoing will not last. The bandits are experiencing our sustained pressure which they react through cowardly and desperate attacks on innocent citizens,” the governor was quoted as saying.

“However, we shall not rest on our oars until we find a lasting solution to the emergence of violence in our communities.

“We implore for maximum co-operation from the communities in terms of swift intelligence reports.”

His reaction comes hours after four persons were killed and some others injured in the fresh attack by suspected bandits.

Gunmen Kidnap District Head, Four Others In Zamfara – Police

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Gunmen have kidnapped the district head of Lingyado village, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

This was confirmed in a statement issued on Sunday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mohammed Shehu.

According to the statement, four other victims were also abducted in the state when bandits stormed the local government.

“On 25th October 2020 at about 0800 hours suspected bandits attacked Lingyado village of Maru Local government and abducted the district head and 4 others,” the statement partly read.

“Joint Police and Military units stationed at Bindin to avert and respond to any invasion in those areas were informed of the incident.

“They quickly respond to the distress call and arrived at the village to counter the threat.  Their arrival averted the ill – intention of the bandits to kidnap as many as possible.”

The police spokesman noted that the state government “stationed 80 combined Police Mobile, Soldiers and Civil Defence” to many “vulnerable areas in the state to counter the threat posed by recalcitrant bandits.”

He explained that the police search and rescue team in collaboration with the Military are in the nearby forest of the surrounding area to rescue the abducted victims.

Shehu also called on the people of the state to report any threat to the security agencies in any part of the state for early response to any attack by these recalcitrant bandits.

Gunmen Kill 20 In Fresh Attack On Zamfara Village

 

At least 20 persons have been killed by gunmen suspected to be bandits in Tungar Kwana village, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

The incident was confirmed by Amnesty International in a Tweet. The Human Rights group said the village has been deserted since the attack.

 

 

Residents however revealed that the armed men arrived in the community on motorbikes after blocking the entry and exit points into the community.

One of the residents said the attack, which was carried out on Tuesday, was a well planned and coordinated attack.

The gunmen after attacking the village carted away livestock and escaped to the forest. The resident alleged that the attack was in retaliation for the massive ongoing onslaught by Nigerian security forces against the armed bandits in their forest enclave.

Emir of Talata Mafara, Bello Muhammed, on Wednesday morning led the funeral prayer for the victims of the attack.

Zamfara Governor Seeks Death Sentence For Reckless Driving

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has promised to impose death penalty for reckless driving in the state.

 

The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has promised to reintroduce serious punitive measures of death on reckless drivers in the state.

The decision followed the death of 15 supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a road accident in Tsafe Local Government Area of the state.

The accident occurred on Saturday when a truck lost control and rammed into four vehicles conveying the victims along Gusau-Funtua Road in Tsafe.

READ ALSO: NAF Airlifts Conjoined Twins To Bayelsa After Successful Separation

Governor Matawalle who expressed sadness over their death says the new law will ensure that such reckless drivers are compelled by law to pay compensation on every life lost.

“We have to make sure that we do everything possible to safeguard the lives of our people. The best way to do it is to make sure that we protect our roads and put some measures to control all the drivers coming in and out of the state.

“The state government has initiated some measures so that we can check all the problems. The state government is planning to make sure we have a weighing gauge in the state and speed limits.

 

“We have to initiate that and very soon we are going to do that. I observed by myself that the highest speed some of these truck drivers are gojng in the state is very uncommon.

“We make sure we do something so that we can put them on check.

He also explained that some road safety measures will be out in place to guard against rough and reckless driving.

 

Gunmen Abduct Four In Zamfara

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Four persons have been abducted by unknown gunmen at Gamji community in the Bakura Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Shehu, confirmed the incident in a press statement on Wednesday.

He explained that the incident occurred on Tuesday evening, noting that the victims were abducted from the residence of the immediate past Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Bello Dankande Gamji.

According to the police, a large number of armed men invaded the house and kidnapped two of his children and two others including an NSCDC officer on duty.

One person was shot dead, while a woman was wounded in the process.

“The police have already deployed armed and plainclothes operatives who immediately embarked on search and rescue operations, with a view to rescuing the kidnapped victims and apprehend the assailants.

“The Police further assure the former Zamfara State Commissioner and indeed all the people of the state that it is doing everything possible to get the abductees released back home”.

The statement also appealed to members of the public, to avoid confronting gunmen during such invasion, but to report the incident on time to the police or any security agency nearest to them for prompt action.

Military Airstrikes Take Out Bandits Camp In Zamfara – Spokesman

FILE: A screen grab from the Air Force video shows the scene of the airstrikes on Boko Haram Logistics Base in Borno State. Credit: Defence Headquarters.

 

Airstrikes from the Nigerian military has destroyed a new camp belonging to an armed gang in the Doumborou forest area of Zamfara state.

This is according to the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, John Enenche.

The airstrikes, which also resulted in the killing of several armed bandits, was executed on Thursday after human intelligence reports and confirmatory surveillance missions established that members of the gang had relocated to a new area by a rocky high ground within the forest.

According to Enenche the air component dispatched an enhanced force package of fighter jets and helicopter gunships to attack the location.

The attack aircraft engaged the target area, taking out some of the bandits.

 

Read the military’s full statement:

PRESS RELEASE

OPERATION HADARIN DAJI: AIR COMPONENT TAKES OUT ARMED BANDITS’ CAMP, ELIMINATES SEVERAL FIGHTERS AT DOUMBOUROU FOREST IN ZAMFARA STATE

1. Air interdiction missions being conducted by the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI have yielded more positive results with the destruction of a new camp belonging to the armed gang headed by the bandit leader known as “Dangote” in the Doumborou Forest area of Zamfara State. The air strike, which also resulted in the killing of several armed bandits, was executed on 23 July 2020 after Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports as well as series of confirmatory aerial surveillance missions established that members of the gang, along with their logistics items, motorcycles and hundreds of rustled livestock, had relocated from their erstwhile position to new area by a rocky high ground within the Forest.

2. The Air Component therefore dispatched an enhanced force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships to attack the location. The attack aircraft engaged the target area scoring accurate hits and taking out some of the bandits. Many others, who were seen trying to flee the location in disarray, were mopped-up in follow-on attacks.

3. While commending the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI for their professionalism, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has urged them to remain resolute in the conduct of air strikes whilst continuing to provide close air support for ongoing ground operations in order to eradicate all armed bandits; thus accomplishing the directives of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to restore normalcy in the North West and North Central Zones of the Country.

4. You are please requested to disseminate this information, along with the attached declassified short video clip of the attacks, through your medium for the awareness of the general public. Thank you for your usual support and cooperation.

JOHN ENENCHE
Major General
Coordinator
Defence Media Operations
Defence Headquarters
25 July 2020

NAF Attacks Bandits’ Camp, Kill Several In Zamfara Forest

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

The Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji has attacked another armed bandits’ camp in the south-western part of Kwiambana Forest in Zamfara State.

In a statement on Sunday, the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations Major General John Enenche said scores of bandits were killed during the operation.

He explained that the operation was conducted in continuation of the sustained onslaught against armed bandits and other criminal elements in the North-West and North-Central states of the country.

“This was achieved through air strikes executed on 10 July 2020 after Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports and series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions established that a group of structures hidden under the dense forest vegetation served as hideouts for suspected Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) elements and fighters under the notorious armed bandit kingpin, Dogo Gede,” the statement said.

Enenche disclosed that the Air Component thereafter dispatched a force package of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships to attack the location.

According to him, the attack aircraft took turns in engaging the target, causing damage to some structures in the camp and neutralising scores of the criminals.

The military spokesman revealed that several bandits, who were seen attempting to flee on foot and on about 15 motorcycles, were mopped-up in follow-on attacks by the helicopters.

He stated that HUMINT sources later revealed that several of the bandits were neutralised and their motorcycles destroyed as a result of the air strikes.

In his reaction, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, commended the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji for their professionalism.

The air force chief also urged them to remain resolute in the conduct of air strikes while continuing to provide close air support for ongoing ground operations, in order to eradicate all armed bandits in the regions.

“Furthermore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria sincerely appreciates the continued support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians, as we keep up the tempo of our operations to defeat all enemies of our great nation,” the statement added.

Zamfara Governor Vows To Wipe Out Bandits, Donates 200 Patrol Vans

A photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, on Tuesday vowed to wipe out bandits terrorising communities in parts of the state.

He also donated 200 patrol vehicles to security agencies to enhance their operations, as part of efforts to strengthen the fight against kidnapping and banditry.

The beneficiary agencies include the Nigerian Army, Police, Department of State Services (DSS), and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Others are the Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigerian Correctional Service, and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

At the distribution of the vehicles in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, Governor Matawalle warned unrepentant bandits who refused to accept the peace accord of his administration to prepare for the worst.

He stated that none of them would be spared in the renewed effort to rid the state of all forms of criminality.

The governor revealed that his administration has also instituted a monthly imprest for the security agencies, as well as providing them with decent office and residential accommodations and other operational equipment.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his cooperation towards efforts at ending banditry in the state.

Governor Matawalle added that the President has listened to him all the time and has positively responded to all his requests, including the approval of two police squadrons to the state and deployment of 780 police personnel to tackle the bandits in flashpoint areas of Zamfara.

According to him, no responsible government will fold its arms and allow its citizens to wallow in uncertainty and get exposed to incessant serious attacks which often lead to loss of lives and property.

The governor, however, urged all residents of the state to support the government in ending banditry by availing security operatives with timely and genuine intelligence information.

Troops Of Operation Hadarin Daji Neutralise Bandits In Katsina, Zamfara

 

The Air Component of the Operation Hadarin Daji has neutralised scores of armed bandits in Dutsen Asolo and Birnin Kogo areas of Katsina State as well as at Dogo Gede’s Camp in the Kwayanbana Forest area of Zamfara State.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters Major General, John Enenche.

According to Enenche, the operation began on 20 June 2020, and so far, 10 locations have been attacked.

“The Operation, which was preceded by the massive deployment of additional air assets and ground support equipment by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to Katsina, is aimed at taking out armed bandits’ locations that were painstakingly selected, based on impeccable Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports as well as series of Surveillance missions, in order to significantly degrade the armed bandits’ fighting capability before it could be brought to bear against friendly forces or innocent civilians,” the statement read.

“At Dutsen Asolo, NAF jets dispatched by the Air Component attacked the cave/hideout of the bandits, destroying the main entry point and neutralizing some fighters. Some surviving bandits, who were tracked escaping from the cave area were taken out in follow-on strikes.

“Also, on 21 June 2020, at the bandits’ enclave in the Kwayanbana Forest, an attack helicopter took out one of the bandits’ logistics huts, which was seen engulfed in flames. Similarly, at Birnin Kogo on 22 June 2020, some armed bandits, who fled their dwellings in the centre of the camp to nearby bushes on hearing the sound of the attack aircraft, were neutralized as the NAF fighter jets hit them at their hiding positions”.

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was in Katsina to oversee the Operation, has commended the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji for their professionalism.

He urged them to remain resolute in the conduct of air strikes whilst continuing to provide close air support for ongoing ground operations in order to eradicate all armed bandits; thus accomplishing the directives of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to restore normalcy in the North West and North Central Zones of the Country.