Suspected Bandits Attack Zamfara Village, Kill Seven Persons

A file photo of three armed men.

 

Suspected armed bandits have reportedly killed seven persons during an attack on Yanbuki village in Zamfara State.

The incident is said to have occurred on Tuesday evening in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state.

While police authorities in Zamfara have yet to confirm the attack, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Muhammed Shehu, did not respond to several calls put across to him.

An eyewitness told Channels Television on Wednesday that immediately the bandits arrived in the village, they fired sporadic gunshots.

As a result of the large number of the assailants, residents were said to have become skeptical and ran to safety.

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“We have conducted the burial of seven (7) people who lost their lives to the attack in Yanbuki,” said the witness who does not want his name mentioned.

“They have been ransacking houses – room by room – throughout the night, burgled shops, and carted away goods and foodstuffs belonging to the residents of the area.”

According to the source, the bandits rustled about 500 cows, as well as hundreds of sheep and goats during the attack.

He stated that this was the second attack by the bandits since the shutdown of the telecommunications network in the Yanbuki area.

Within the last one week, gunmen invaded and ransacked nine other villages in Zurmi LGA.

They include Bindin, Kadamutsa, Gidan Zago, Marmaro, Dada, Maduba, Kacha, Dangasamu, Hushin Dusti.

Residents of the communities are said to have fled their homes to take refuge in safer areas within and outside Zurmi.

During the invasion, over 40 people are reported to have been abducted by bandits who threatened to either kill or kidnap anyone found in the affected villages.

“The bandits move around freely within these villages and threatened people and with their brutality, people decided to flee because there are no security operatives to defend them,” a villager said.

APC Registers Over One Million Members In Zamfara As Matawalle Receives Report

A flag of the APC.

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has received the report of the committee set up to register members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

The team sent to the state from the APC national secretariat in Abuja presented its report to the governor on Tuesday at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.

Mr Ibrahim Masari, who is the chairman, commended the large turnout of members of the party for the registration, describing it as ‘unprecedented and overwhelming’.

He informed the governor that the exercise, although challenging, was hitch-free, smooth, and without any security breach.

The committee chairman explained that a total of 1,021,800 members registered in the course of the exercise.

He reaffirmed Governor Matawalle as the party’s recognised leader in the state, as provided in the APC Constitution, and urged members to continue to rally round him for the unity and progress of the party.

According to Masari, only those who are bent on bringing down the party will not recognise the governor as the APC leader in Zamfara.

Receiving the report, Governor Matawalle commended the committee for a job well done. The APC, according to him, is more united and peaceful under his leadership.

He urged members of the party to continue to come together for the growth and development of the party and the state.

The governor also commended the APC national leadership for organising the exercise, especially for uploading the list online to afford members the opportunity to confirm that they were not left out.

He called on other aggrieved members of the party to register, saying the national headquarters of the party would only recognise one registration portal.

Governor Matawalle assured the national leadership of the party that soon, he would receive more members from other political parties into the APC in the state.

Bandits Have No Food To Feed Kidnap Victims, Says Shinkafi

The Deputy Chairman of Zamfara State Committee on finding lasting solution to Armed Banditry, Dr. Abdullahi Shinkafi.

 

The Deputy Chairman of Zamfara State Committee on finding a lasting solution to Armed Banditry, Dr. Abdullahi Shinkafi, says bandits no longer have food to feed their kidnap victims and are releasing them freely without collecting ransom.

Shinkafi said this during an interview on Saturday in Gusau while hailing the efforts of the state government aimed at tackling the activities of bandits in the north-western state.

“There were some people who were kidnapped, 11 of them. They released one and told them to bring N200,000 each. Before they started negotiating, (they demanded) N20 million per person,” he said.

“When the relatives of the victims refused to send the money, they left with no option than to release them. They said they don’t have food to feed them that some have started dying in captivity.

“So it is yielding a lot of results and biting them very hard. The sustainability of these security measures will help in downgrading the activities of bandits in Zamfara State.”

Shinkafi added that due to the telecommunications shutdown, bandits wrote letters to the people of Shinkafi and the Acting Emir of Zurmi, using receipts of their purchased motorcycles to demand ransom for kidnapped victims.

He also confirmed that the task force in the state has traced the address of the motorcycle company in Kano State and arrests have been made.

At Least 12 Killed As Bandits Invade Zamfara Village, Burn Police Van

A file photo of three armed men.

 

No fewer than 12 people have been killed in an attack by bandits who invaded Sakajiki village in Kaura Namoda Emirate in Zamfara State.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Zamfara, Mohammed Shehu, confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Friday.

He said the casualties recorded in the incident would have been more if not for the response of the police operatives deployed in the area.

Narrating how the attack occurred, a source in the village told Channels Television that the assailants arrived at about 9pm on Thursday and were there for several hours.

A photo of one of the trucks set ablaze by bandits during the attack on the village.

 

He added that at least a dozen persons were confirmed dead as the attackers continued with their operation until around 4am on Friday.

They also set several shops and other houses ablaze, including an edifice of a police outpost in the area, as well as several vehicles – one of which was a police patrol van.

Another source explained that the persons who were confirmed dead were those whose bodies were brought to the open, while a search for those not seen was ongoing.

The team of police mobile force operatives, according to him, tried their best to repel the attack, but they were purportedly overpowered by the bandits.

Another vehicle set ablaze by bandits who attacked the village on October 14, 2021.

 

Shehu, on his part, disclosed that the commissioner of police in Zamfara has deployed an additional squad for reinforcement.

He assured the people of the area that the command would redouble its efforts to ensure that banditry was wiped out of the state.

Zamfara PDP Accuses State Govt Of Harassment

The PDP secretariat in Zamfara State
The PDP secretariat in Zamfara State

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara has accused the state government and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of harassment.

According to a statement issued on Thursday by its Publicity Secretary, Shattiman Rijiya, the APC is threatening to stop them from opening the party’s secretariat in Gusau, the state capital.

The PDP further alleged that immediately Governor Bello Matawalle defected to the APC, the ruling party hijacked the PDP Secretariat.

While noting that the PDP used N10 million to secure its headquarters, the state government through the Zamfara State Urban and Regional Planning Board (ZUREP), has marked ‘cancel’ on the building despite the party furnishing the board with a letter through its lawyer.

“This is the third time when Zamfara State Government is cancelling and depriving us to have PDP state secretariat in Gusau through ZUREP and the decision was contrary to the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended,” Rijiya stated.

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According to the party’s spokesman, this is not the first time that the board personnel would come to the said building to mark cancel without concrete reasons for their action.

Recalling the role the party played as an opposition during the administration of ex-governor Abdullaziz Yari, the PDP wondered why the current administration will prevent them from floating their secretariat now.

The PDP secretariat in Zamfara State
The PDP secretariat in Zamfara State

 

He added, “We shall strive to contact our lawyers accordingly on what line of action we shall take to protect our political legitimate right.”

The party’s spokesman asked PDP supporters in the state to remain calm and law abiding, adding that efforts were in top gear to fight for their rights politically.

Efforts to contact ZUREP to react to the allegation proved abortive as officials had declined comment several times on the said development.

Banditry: Govt To Deploy Security Operatives Across Schools In Zamfara

Police Engage Suspected Kidnappers On Kaduna-Abuja Highway, Kill Nine
A file photo of police officers on a patrol van.

 

Authorities in Zamfara have concluded plans to deploy security operatives to schools across the state in a bid to ensure the safety of students and teachers.

Governor Bello Matawalle disclosed this on Wednesday when he received some students in his office at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.

He assured his guests that his administration would soon pay the counterpart funds for this year’s Universal Basic Education (UBEC).

According to Governor Matawalle, this is to ensure continued improvement in the standard of education, especially that of the girl child in the state.

To celebrate the girl child, he gave his seat to a Junior Secondary School (JSS) Two student of Unity School in Kortokoshi, Zainab Bello, who acted as the governor for about an hour.

As the acting governor, Zainab posted a commissioner designate, Fa’ika Ahmed, to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development.

She promised to protect the rights and promote the education of the girl child, in line with the development agenda of the state government.

Meanwhile, Governor Matawalle has sworn in new administrators for the 14 local government areas of the state, following the dissolution of the last set of administrators.

He explained that it was necessary to reconstitute another set of administrators until the security situation improves to pave way for elections into the local government councils.

“Our mission is to implement policies and programmes that will assist in the positive transformation of our people’s lives,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Zailani Bappa.

“We are particularly determined to do all that is humanly possible to secure our state, restore mutual trust among our communities, and create bountiful opportunities for people to realise their dreams of a better life.”

“You must work hand in hand with the security agencies in your localities to ensure strict compliance with Executive Order number 001 of 2021, which I signed on the 26th day of August 2021.

“The security of lives and property of our people is the topmost priority of our administration; you must, therefore, work diligently towards the accomplishment of our mission of making Zamfara State peaceful,” he told the appointees.

The new administrators are Ahmed Balarabe (Anka ), Dr Aminu Yarkufoji (Bakura), Kabiru Maigoro (Birnin-Magaji), Bashiru Muawiya (Bukkuyum), Mohammed Maiturare (Bungudu), Abubakar Daki-Takwas (Gummi), and Sanusi Sarki (Gusau).

Others are Nasiru Yakamata (Kauran Namoda), Umaru Naabu (Maradun), Salisu D’Gulbi (Maru), Abdulrahman Bala (Shinkafi), Dahiru Garbadu (Talata-Mafara), Aminu Mudi (Tsafe), and Dr Auwal Moriki (Zurmi).

Matawalle Swears In New SSG, 18 Commissioners, Others

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has sworn in new cabinet members and permanent secretaries in the state.

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

Mr Kabiru Balarabe and Mr Kabiru Mohammed took the oath of office as Secretary to the State Government and Head of Service respectively, while the governor also inaugurated 18 new commissioners and 11 new special advisers.

The appointees were said to have been inaugurated after they swore that they had no involvement in the ongoing banditry in the state.

In his remarks, Governor Matawalle asked the appointees to brace for what he described as “the new beginning” – an era of consolidating the gains recorded in the last two years of the administration.

“A cursory overview of the antecedents of the members of the new team is enough to convince everyone that a new march to make Zamfara State great has begun,” he was quoted as saying.

The governor, however, warned them that his administration would not condone laxity or complacency at a time when bandits were being routed.

He stated that the progress recorded so far was due to the recent stringent measures taken to curb the activities of bandits in the state.

According to Governor Matawalle, hundreds of the bandits are already on the run after many of them have been killed and others arrested along with their collaborators.

He revealed that the state government has initiated palliative measures to mitigate the hardship faced by residents due to the measures earlier taken.

The governor called on the people to continue to exercise more patience, assuring them of a beaming light at the end of the tunnel.

He spoke about his recent visits to the United States and Turkey, noting that the two-week official engagements have yielded positive results.

Several companies, Governor Matawalle said, have signed agreements with the state government on a wide range of developmental initiatives that cut across security, science, health, education, and commerce.

 

Court Dismisses Suit Filed By Dethroned Zamfara Emir

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

 

The application filed by the dethroned Emir of Maru, Ibrahim Abubakar against the Inspector General Of Police and five others challenging his unlawful detention, infringement of fundamental human rights and demanding N6.5 billion damages, has been dismissed.

The presiding judge, Justice Bello Shinkafi dismissed the case on the ground that the law enforcement agencies acted within the ambit of the law hence the deposed Emir’s detention at the Government House for eleven months was lawful.

The judge said, the action of the police and the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), who are respondents in the suit, did not violate the applicant’s fundamental human rights.

The counsel to the sixth respondent, who is the former Secretary To The Zamfara State Government, Bala Maru described the judgement as a good and sound one considering the prevailing insecurity in the state.

Banditry: Police Rescue 187 People From Zamfara Forest

 

The Police in Zamfara State have rescued 187 people abducted and held captive by bandits in Tsibiri Forest in Maradun Local Government Area of the state.

Some of those rescued are natives of Gora Namaye, Rini, and Shinkafi in Zamfara while the others are from Sabon Birnin LGA in Sokoto State.

“Today (Thursday) 187 were rescued as a result of the pressure mounted on these bandits by the state government and other security agencies whereby, we stormed Tsibiri Forest where kidnap victims were kept for various days – some (of them for) 52 days, 48 days, 54 days and four months,” said the Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Ayuba Elkana, who handed over the victims to the state government.

“They have now been rescued unconditionally. We are now going to hand them over to the state for medical check-up, debriefing, and, later, to be reunited with their families.

“This is a great achievement, and it goes to all the good people of Zamfara State who have keyed into the resolve to this administration to make sure that Zamfara State is brought back to its normal peaceful state.”

A screengrab taken on October 7, 2021, shows some of the rescued victims.

 

The victims were rescued after an extensive search and rescue operation that lasted for hours, conducted by operatives of the Police Tactical Squad of the command.

Elkana explained that the feat was recorded as a result of the implementation of the new security measures announced by the state government.

As part of the measures, the police and other security agencies have been carrying out assaults on identified bandits’ locations in various parts of the state.

According to the police commissioner, these efforts led to the rescue of hundreds of abducted victims who have been reunited with their respective families.

He revealed that some bandits and their collaborators have been arrested, and some of those apprehended have been charged to court.

The rescued victims were brought to the Police Headquarters in Zamfara State on October 7, 2021.

 

Elkana gave the assurance that the police and other security agencies would continue to put in their best to ensure the return of lasting peace and security in the state.

He sympathised with the victims for the suffering they went through while in captivity and promised that the command would redouble its commitment to protecting the lives and properties of the people.

The Secretary to the State Government, Kabiru Balarabe, who received the rescued victims thanked the police and other security agencies for enforcing the new security measures.

He assured them of the government’s continuous support and encouragement to carry out their duties effectively, adding that victims would be properly treated before being reunited with their families.

“We are also grateful to all those repentant bandits who have led the way to this success, may Almighty reward you abundantly,” Balarabe said.

“These rescued victims will be treated well as we have already kept in stock all the medications required to take care of them, we will make sure that we make all efforts to reunite these victims with their respective families.”

Bandits Attack Zamfara Community, Kill 14 People

A file photo of three armed men.

 

Gunmen suspected to be bandits have attacked the Kurya Madaro community of Kaura-Namoda Local Government Area in Zamfara State.

It was gathered that the bandits stormed the community at midnight on Tuesday and operated till the early hours of Wednesday.

Police authorities are yet to react to the attack. All efforts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Muhammed Shehu, proved abortive as his telephone numbers were not reachable.

But a source in the community confirmed the attack to Channels Television, saying that the attackers stormed the town around 11:30 pm on Tuesday and operated till the early hour of Wednesday, killing about fourteen people.

According to him, the bandits set police operational vehicles, one trailer, four other vehicles belonging to the community and many shops on fire during the attack.

The deceased have since been buried in Kurya Madaro town in line with Islamic rites.

Kurya Madaro is about 51kilometres to Gusau, the Zamfara State capital.

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It will be recalled that residents of the community had on May 31, staged a protest to demonstrate their displeasure over incessant bandit attacks in the area.

Criminal gangs, known locally as bandits, have terrorised northwest and central Nigeria for years, but they have become more brazen in recent months and the military has renewed operations in a bid to end the attacks.

“On Sunday, unidentified gunmen attacked Madamai village in Kaduna State, leaving 34 residents dead and seven others wounded,” state security commissioner Samuel Aruwan said.

Troops came under fire before forcing the assailants to withdraw after an intense exchange, he said in a statement.

Also on Sunday, gunmen attacked a church in the Kachia district of Kaduna State, killing at least one person, he said.

Sunday’s violence led to reprisals by unidentified assailants on communities in Kacecere in Kaduna, which left another eight dead, six injured and several houses razed, Aruwan said in a second statement without giving details on when the violence took place.

The bandits who raid villages, steal cattle, kidnap for ransom and burn homes, have no known ideology.

But analysts see signs of growing cooperation between the gangs and Boko Haram fighting a 12-year Islamist insurgency in the northeast.

The military began an anti-bandit campaign earlier this month in Zamfara State. Some northern states have also imposed restrictions on movement and trade and a telecoms blackout as part of efforts to have the gunmen under control.

Police Arrest Bandits’ Commander, Ban Unauthorised Use Of Tinted Glass In Zamfara

 

The Zamfara State Police Command says it has arrested one of the notorious commanders of bandits, Bello Ruga.

Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Ayuba Elkana, who disclosed this to reporters said Bello, also known as Bello Dan Malankara, was apprehended at a bandits’ camp in Gummi Local Government Area of the state.

“On 1st October 2021, police tactical operatives on anti-banditry operations around Gummi axis acted on intelligence report and stormed Gidan Bita, Malankare, and Kagara forest in search of one notorious bandit known as Bello Rugga,” he said during a briefing on Friday at the Police Headquarters in Gusau.

“The bandit who happens to be one of the Turji’s commanders was the one in charge of Gummi, Gidan Bita, Malankare, and Kagara forest in Gummi LGA.

“He has been commanding a series of attacks and kidnaps in Gummi that led to the unwarranted killing of innocent people, and the kidnapping of many persons where ransoms were paid. The suspect who has many bandits under him also is in possession of AK 47 rifles.”

Meanwhile, Elkana announced that all vehicles with unauthorised tinted glass should be immediately removed.

He also directed the police to arrest and prosecute owners of vehicles without plate numbers on all roads in the state.

Bello Rugga (left) was paraded by Mr Ayuba Elkana at the Police Headquarters in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital.

 

The police commissioner also clarified the status of the measures announced by the state government to check the activities of bandits in Zamfara.

According to him, the ban on carrying more than a passenger on a motorcycle, as well as the use of motorcycles with clutches in 13 LGAs and some parts of Gusau, remains in force.

Elkana warned residents against non-compliance with the closure of weekly markets in the state, except in Gusau.

He reminded them of the restriction of movement in and out of the 13 LGAs from 6am to 6pm, and from 8pm to 6am in the state capital.

The police commissioner, however, revealed that movement within Gusau metropolis has been extended to 12am, as announced by the Commissioner for Information in the state, Ibrahim Dosara.

“All Keke Napep (tricycles) putting additional curtain to cover passengers is banned. The suspension of communication networks in the 13 LGAs is still in force with the exception of Gusau metropolis,” he said.

Elkana appealed to the residents to exercise more patience and support the government in its bid to restore peace and security in the state.

Zamfara People Facing Difficulties Over Stiffer Measures To Curb Attacks, Says Govt

A map of Zamfara in north-west Nigeria.

 

The Zamfara State Government has admitted that the residents of the state are facing difficulties over stiffer measures taken to curb killings, kidnappings and other security challenges.

Ibrahim Magaji Dosara, the state Commissioner for information, said Governor Bello Matawalle has constituted a state Relief Materials Distribution Committee to reduce the economic hardships being faced by the people of the state.

He said the move is due to the recent measures taken to bring lasting solution to the lingering armed banditry in the state.

“Government has noticed with concern the difficulties people are facing as a result of imposing some stiffer measures for curtailing the incessant attacks, kidnappings, maiming and killing of innocent people, which resurfaced after overcoming the crisis by the present government within just one year of taking over power,” he said.

“Government, therefore, deemed it not only appropriate but also necessary to source the essential commodities for distribution to the people, especially the common man at the grassroots, for relative ease across the state.”

He, however, advised the committee to conduct the distribution exercise properly with a view to ensuring justice and fairness.

While warning that the state government would not take it lightly with anyone found wanting in the distribution exercise, the commissioner asked the committee to liaise with critical stakeholders, irrespective of political leaning, in the distribution exercise to ensure justice is done to all.

He also commended the ulamas, traditional rulers, civil servants, security operatives and others who have contributed to finding a lasting solution to the wanton killing and destruction of lives and properties by the criminal elements.

This is coming weeks after the government introduced a string of measures, including banning the sales of petroleum products, shutting down some major markets and telecommunication networks, to tackle banditry in the state.