A policeman and an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been abducted by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers in Kaduna state.
The two security operatives were kidnapped from their residences at Maraban Rido in Chikun Local Government Area of the state in the late hours of Thursday.
A 14-year-old girl and one other person were also whisked away by the abductors during the operation.
The gunmen were said to have invaded the community at about midnight and went straight to some houses, shooting sporadically, and later took their victims away.
Although police authorities in the state are yet to confirm the abduction of its personnel, the spokesman of NSCDC, Kaduna State Command, Orndiir Terzungwe, however, confirmed the incident to Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).
He explained that the Civil Defence officer was abducted by the gunmen from his home and taken to an unknown destination.
Terzungwe disclosed that the command has launched a manhunt of the kidnappers with a view to rescuing the officer and arresting the kidnappers.
The attack comes four days after gunmen abducted an unconfirmed number of students from a school in Kaduna State.
Noble Reporters Media learnt that the incident took place on August 24, 2020 at Prince Academy in Samba-Kasaya, a village around Buruku area in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
Those kidnapped are said to be some JSS 3 students who are preparing for the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) before the armed men invaded the school at about 7am and took them away.
Although the police authorities had yet to confirm the incident as at the time of filing the report, a security source in the area said a member of a local group in the village was shot dead by the gunmen while some villagers were also abducted along with the students.
A Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) set up to rid the Lake Chad region of terrorists on Wednesday said it had helped to facilitate the return of a Nigerian nurse from the grip of the ISWAP, a terrorist organisation.
The MNJTF comprises units of military personnel from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
In a statement signed from Chad, an MNJTF spokesman, Colonel Muhammad Dole, said the nurse had been held in captivity since the beginning of 2020.
During an air-bomb raid of an ISWAP stronghold in the Lake Chad, the nurse ran for dear life and escaped to Niger Republic, where he was handed over to the MNJTF.
“After bombs and rockets from the aircrafts landed and everywhere exploded in flames, both terrorists and hostages ran for dear life,” the nurse said, as quoted by the MNJTF. “I had to take my chance. I am grateful to God that I was able to escape.”
The nurse was medically examined before he was finally handed over to Nigerian authorities, the MNJTF said.
READ THE MNJTF’s FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
MNJTF FACILITATES RETURN OF NURSE ABDUCTED BY ISWAP
In consonance with the mandate of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which includes to “Facilitate within the limits of it’s capabilities, humanitarian operations and the delivery of assistance to the affected populations”, the Task Force has facilitated the return of a Nigerian Nurse (name and organization withheld) who was abducted by ISWAP and held in captivity since the beginning of 2020.
The nurse who was incarcerated in one of ISWAP’s strong holds in the Lake Chad bolted to safety and freedom, in the aftermath of a joint air interdiction conducted by the MNJTF and national partners. According to him, “after bombs and rockets from the aircrafts landed and everywhere exploded in flames, both terrorists and hostages ran for dear life. I had to take my chance. I am grateful to God that I was able to escape”. The nurse then made his way to a village in Niger Republic and was promptly handed over to security agents in Sector 4 of the MNJTF.
The airlift and hand- over of the nurse to Nigerian authorities was preceded by medical examination conducted to determine the state of health of the victim after spending 8 months in the horrific and squalid conditions which he had to endure during the period of his captivity in ISWAP enclave.
The MNJTF wishes to reassure populations in the Lake Chad Basin of it’s determination to provide security and facilitate development efforts being spearheaded by the respective national governments and international development partners.
Please, disseminate this information to the general public.
Signed Colonel Muhammad Dole Chief of Military Public Information HQ MNJTF Ndjamena Chad 26 August 2020
The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar has expressed concern that some individuals and groups it described as ‘crying more than the bereaved’ over Southern Kaduna killings are sabotaging government efforts in bringing lasting peace to the region.
The Muslim group also noted that unguarded utterances of some citizens including elder statesmen, whom it alleged are making economic fortunes out of the Southern Kaduna crisis, are frustrating the peacebuilding effort in the region.
JNI in a statement issued on Wednesday by its Secretary-General, Dr Khalid Abubakar, however, called on both the Federal and State governments to act fast to ensure that such groups do not jeopardise the already fragile situation in Southern Kaduna, but step up efforts to bring an end to the crises.
While it called for caution and restraint from all parties involved in the conflict, JNI, however, admitted that ethnoreligious conflicts are not easy to manage, and urged all parties to rise to the occasion to forestall its recurrence in Kaduna state, as it is often said, a stitch in time saves nine.
“It is very clear that some interest groups cried wolf than the bereaved in the present circumstance and thus, the need for government to quickly act before such interest groups exacerbate the already precarious situation that could jeopardize frantic efforts aimed at restoring law and order through dialogue and commitment for peace with all relevant stakeholders in the state,” the statement added.
“The JNI observed carefully with serious concern the unfortunate unfolding events of blood-letting and serial killings, as well as the resultant inflammatory commentaries being aired which are utterly condemnable in their entirety.
“We strongly believe that the politically-driven crisis is being deliberately turned into an ethnoreligious conflict of worrisome dimension.
“We have nonetheless observed with dismay the unguarded utterances of some citizens including elder statesmen, who through the print, electronic and social media, are at best should be doing everything possible to curtail the tensed situation but instead prefer to serve as conflict entrepreneurs in exasperating the already worsened situation.”
The statement also commiserated with the families of the victims of the inhuman attacks and particularly condoled with the parents as well as guardians who lost their children/wards in the crises.
“May Allah, the Most High console them all, while those that sustained injuries, may He grant them quick recovery. Aamin,” it said.
“We must not, however, relent in fervent prayers to Allah, for an end to the too many bloodbaths in Nigeria, while calling on government at all levels, as well as security agencies to do more in tackling insecurity in Nigeria, as there would not be development without peace and security.”
The Nigerian military on Wednesday said some 410 members of the Darul Salam Terrorists Group have surrendered.
A bomb-making factory belonging to the terrorists has also been decimated.
The information was contained in a statement signed by a military spokesman, Major-General John Enenche.
The surrender followed “aggressive intensive kinetic operations at identified bandits’ enclaves” by a military unit, Operation Whirl Stroke, and other security agencies deployed at Uttu in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Enenche said.
Among the surrendered terrorists were women and children,
The military also said Operation Whirl Stroke personnel “stormed a Darul Salam terrorists bomb-making factory” and recovered several rocket launcher bombs and other explosive materials.
“The camp was subsequently destroyed while troops are equally combing the surrounding forests for fleeing members of the sect,” Enenche said.
READ THE MILITARY’S FULL STATEMENT:
TROOPS OF OPERATION WHIRL STROKE BUST TERRORISTS CELL; RECOVER EXPLOSIVES, ARMS AND AMMUNITION IN NASARAWA, AS 410 MEMBERS OF DARUL SALAM TERRORISTS GROUP SURRENDER
In continuation of aggressive clearance operations aimed at decisively riding the North-Central zone of armed banditry and other forms of criminality, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE have recorded a major success against the criminal elements.
Following aggressive intensive kinetic operations at identified bandits’ enclaves, not less than 410 members of the Darul Salam Terrorists group, including women and children, surendered to the troops of operation WHIRL STROKE and other security agencies deployed at Uttu in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. This development took place on 25 August 2020.
Relatedly, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE while on a robust clearance patrol around Uttu, on 26 August 2020 stormed a Darul Salam terrorists bomb-making factory following actionable technical and human intelligence on the activities of the terrorists in the general area. In the course of the operation, troops recovered several Improvised Explosive Device making materials at the location including 2 scales, 6 rocket launcher bombs, one bag of fertilizer, half a bag of gun powder, 10 locally made hand grenades, one Rocket Propelled Grenade bomb fuse, one locally made Rocket Launcher, 2 Improvised Explosive Devices,13 Improvised rocket bombs, amongst others. The camp was subsequently destroyed while troops are equally combing the surrounding forests for fleeing members of the sect.
The Military High Command commends the gallant troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE for their professionalism and dexterity in achieving this notable feat and also urges them to sustain the tempo in the push to decisively curtail the activities of armed bandits and other criminals operating in the North-Central zone.
You are please requested to disseminate this information through your medium with the photos attached 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 26 August 2020.
Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have arrested 150 suspected bandits, kidnappers, and cattle rustlers among others in the north-west region of the country.
The Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, disclosed this at a press briefing held on Tuesday at the newly established Special Army Super Camp ‘4’ Faskari in Katsina State.
He revealed that the suspects were arrested on different days while troops also recovered 20 locally fabricated Dane guns.
According to the military spokesman, a well-coordinated intelligence-based operation led to the raid of an illegal mining site which also serves as bandits’ hideout located along Gadan Zaima – Zuru Road in Bukuyyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
He noted that one of the suspects was killed while trying to escape, adding that banditry has been financed through illegal mining activities.
Onyeuko said explained that troops on fighting patrol encountered three bandits on motorcycles at Maigalma village in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State while attempting to attack innocent residents on Saturday last week.
He explained that a bandit was killed in the process, adding, “the troops recovered one AK-47 rifle, one AK-47 rifle magazine loaded with five rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and two motorcycles from the fleeing bandits.”
“Also, on 21 August 2020, troops acting on actionable intelligence raided a known bandit hideout around Dogon Karfe village in Bakura LGA of Zamfara. During the operation, four Dane guns and one loaded magazine were recovered by the troops in an abandoned structure.
“Same day, following credible intelligence, troops deployed at Wagini village arrested a wanted notorious bandit named Isuhu Ibrahim (aka Bula) who in the company of other bandits have been terrorising the general area for a while,” the brigadier general stated.
He said all arrested suspects were undergoing preliminary investigation and would soon be handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies for further action.
The military spokesman thanked the people of the North West for their support, saying the successes achieved so far would not have been possible without their cooperation.
He, however, urged them to continue to support the security agencies with timely and actionable intelligence that would assist the troops in their operations.
President Muhammadu Buhari has again condemned the attack on the office of the United Nations (UN) by Boko Haram terrorists in 2011.
Speaking on Monday in Abuja when he received a delegation led by the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, the President noted that the attack by the terrorists was regrettable.
He, however, said the reconstruction of the UN building by the government was in full appreciation of the work of the international organisation.
“Thank you for what you have been doing in the country, especially for women and children. I am glad you have put together a dedicated team to work with us,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
He also welcomed commendations by the UN on efforts to restore security, strengthen institutions against corruption, improve health facilities, and rebuilding of the multilateral institution’s office.
President Buhari commended the various programmes of the UN in Nigeria, saying, “I am very impressed with the number of programmes you are carrying out, and I hope that our ministers will continue to cooperate with you.”
On the reconstruction of the UN building and Boko Haram bombing incident, he said, “I assure that beyond the renovation of your headquarters after that incident, we will continue to make your job feasible and comfortable.
“If you need anything in the course of your assignments, talk to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.”
In his remarks, the UN Resident Coordinator praised the administration for the rebuilding and modernisation of the UN House in Nigeria, describing it as commendable support to multilateralism.
“The reopening of the UN House in October 2019, after eight years, was a day of celebration and remembrance.
“It was also an act of defiance in the face of terror and attack on our core values of peace, freedom, prosperity, tolerance and justice,” he was quoted as saying.
Kallon also commended President Buhari for his leadership and guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the wisdom in establishing the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and adding his voice to the global call for a people’s vaccine for coronavirus.
He congratulated Nigeria on the successful eradication of polio virus and promised to partner with the country in building more primary healthcare centres capable of sustaining universal health coverage.
The UN envoy extolled the President and his administration for the establishment of the new Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, as well as the continuous support in advancing gender issues, the girl-child, and rights of the child in general.
According to him, President Buhari should be praised for “legacy investments in the administration’s fight against corruption, electoral reforms, and census.”
Kallon also commended the President’s “resolve to reform and return discipline in the public service, as well as the success in fighting corruption, including convictions and recovery of assets.”
Gunmen have reportedly abducted an unconfirmed number of students from a school in Kaduna State.
The incident took place on Monday at Prince Academy in Samba-Kasaya, a village around Buruku area in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
Those kidnapped are said to be some JSS 3 students who are preparing for the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) before the armed men invaded the school at about 7am and took them away.
The Kaduna State Police Command has yet to confirm the incident and the number of those abducted.
But a security source in the area told Channels Television that a member of a local group in the village was shot dead by the gunmen while some villagers were also abducted along with the students.
The source also disclosed that troops of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies have begun a manhunt of the kidnappers with a view to rescuing the victims and bringing the culprits to justice.
Monday’s attack comes a week after the state government announced that JSS3 students in the state would resume classes on August 16 and 17.
The Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Education, Phoebe Yayi, had explained in a statement that the government approved the resumption dates to allow the students prepare for the BECE which commenced on August 24.
She noted that all school principals were directed to make arrangements to receive the students, in line with the COVID-19 regulations of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Proprietors of private schools were also asked to comply accordingly through the Kaduna State Schools Quality Assurance Authority and ensure proper arrangements for safe transportation of their students to and from schools.
Amid the insurgency in the northeast and security challenges in other parts of the country, the United Nations has sued for peace.
United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said military interventions and humanitarian efforts alone will not solve the conflict.
Kallon disclosed this on Monday when leading a UN delegation on a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The UN Coordinator also called for dialogue and a more robust framework to tackle the problem.
While commending President Buhari for his administration’s efforts in fighting corruption, he called for the strengthening of institutions as a final solution to the issue of corruption.
According to the UN delegation, the Nigerian government should take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to improve the health sector
The delegation says the virus has impacted negatively on the routine immunization exercise across the country.
The meeting is being held on the heels that Nigeria will be polio free by Tuesday.
The delegation is five of the 19 UN agencies which make up the UN country team in Nigeria.
Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Nigeria announced the progress made by the nation via its verified Twitter handle on June 19.
It described the development as historic for Nigeria, the African continent, and the Global Polio Programme in general.
This comes as the Federal Government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) confirmed the success recorded.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said in a tweet that it was a proud moment for the people of Nigeria when they defended the complete documentation at a virtual meeting of African Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (ARCC).
Shuaib explained that at the meeting, the Nigeria team which comprised the NPHCDA and partners demonstrated evidence of the country’s polio-free status.
According to him, the presentation was accepted by the commission and the official announcement will be made at a meeting of Ministers of Health scheduled for July.
The Kaduna State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew it imposed on Kauru and Zango Kataf Local Government areas of the state, as a result of constant communal attacks leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in the state, Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement on Saturday that the decision to relax the curfew was made based on advice from security agencies.
Aruwan added that security assessments have shown that there are promising signs of serious efforts at rapprochement between the Atyap, Hausa, and Fulani communities of Zangon-Kataf LGA.
“As efforts to diminish perils to communities and promote peace continue, the Kaduna State Government has accepted the recommendation to relax the curfew in Kauru and Zangon-Kataf LGAs,” Aruwan said.
“Curfew hours will now be from 6 pm to 6 am, effective from today.
“This decision completes the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew imposed from 11 June 2020 to help contain security challenges initially in Kauru and Zangon-Kataf but later extended to Kaura and Jema’a LGAs.”
Suspected Islamist militants killed 13 people during raids on two villages in eastern Congo, the army and a village chief said, the latest in a spate of attacks the United Nations says may constitute war crimes.
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group operating in North Kivu province in Democratic Republic of Congo, have killed more than 1,000 civilians since the start of 2019, according to U.N. figures.
Militiamen tied up the victims in the villages of Kinziki-Matiba and Wikeno, 10 km east of the city of Oicha, before killing them in the attack on Friday afternoon, said Chui Mukalangirwa, a local village chief.
“We beg the authorities to put an end to this bloodbath,” he said.
The army helped civilians bury the bodies and is looking at deploying more units in the area, army spokesman Antony Mwalishayi said.
The ADF has operated in the dense forests near the Ugandan border for more than three decades.
Late last year the Congo army launched a large-scale operation against them, sparking a violent backlash against civilians.
Several attacks attributed to the ADF had also been claimed by Islamic State, although researchers and analysts said there was a lack of hard evidence linking the two groups.
The insecurity has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes and complicated Congo’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as an Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 2,200 people.
The Nigeria Air Force says its airstrikes have killed no fewer than 20 Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in Borno State.
This was confirmed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Coordinator Defence Media operations, Major General John Enenche.
According to him, the attack was carried out at Bukar Meram on the fringes of the Lake Chad, a settlement in the southern part of Borno State following intelligence information.
He explained that Bukar Meram, is a major ISWAP logistics hub linking other island settlements of the Lake Chad, which also houses several of their fighters and some of their key leaders.
The defence spokeman said that the attack was carried out by an enhanced force package of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships which hit designated targets in the area.
“In continuation of air strikes being conducted under subsidiary Operation HAIL STORM, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has successfully neutralized some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) Commanders and knocked out logistics facilities at Bukar Meram on the fringes of the Lake Chad in Borno State, while also neutralizing several terrorists at Dole, a settlement in the Southern part of Borno State.
“The air interdiction missions were executed on 17 August 2020 on the heels of credible intelligence reports indicating a resurgence of terrorists’ activities in the 2 settlements.
“The attack at Dole was carried out after Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions showed a build-up of activities in the area after the relocation of some terrorists from nearby settlements of Kokiwa and Yale.
“Overhead the area the ISR aircraft spotted no fewer than 20 terrorists in the area, which were taken out by the NAF attack aircraft,” the statement partly read.
Following the recent spate of attacks by the terrorists, the Air Force has launched serious offensive against the insurgents.
The recent of such was five days ago when the Air Force destroyed ISWAP camp in Borno State.
In a statement on August 14, Enenche said the terrorists’ camp, located at Tongule in the Lake Chad area of Northern Borno, was knocked out by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole, adding that the airstrikes were conducted on Wednesday following credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports indicating terrorists’ activities in the village.
He revealed that the operation, which was in continuation of the air offensive against terrorist elements in the North East, resulted in the death of scores of the ISWAP fighters at the camp.
Boko Haram terrorists have reportedly attacked Kukawa Local Government, a town in Northern Borno State.
According to sources, a military base was targeted during the attack and an unspecified number of civilians may have been abducted.
The attack which occurred on Tuesday comes barely a week after the first set of villagers who have been displaced for many years were returned home to be resettled.
Kukawa, a border town on the fringes of Lake Chad has been a military zone, until the recent return of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The controversial Baga town where Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum was attacked is in Kukawa local government-barely 40 kilometers apart.
Zulum during that visit had personally inspected infrastructure and the security ambience before giving approval for the return of civilians.
Community leaders were said to have conducted a head count in order to present an official report with the correct number of missing persons.
Two hundred households consisting of an estimated 1,200 persons were recently returned to the local council by the state government.
Details of the incident are still sketchy, and the military is yet to give an official position on the attack.
Boko Haram has launched series of attacks in the northeast, particularly Borno State killing many and displacing thousands of people despite claims by the military that the terrorists have been decimated.
On July 22, a video surfaced online showing the execution of five persons by masked men in military camouflage, suspected to be Boko Haram fighters.
A voice was heard speaking in Hausa before the execution, saying that the five persons were working for infidels.
The slain persons are believed to be aid workers captured during a raid in Monguno Local Government of Borno State on June 13, 2020.
They include staff of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, Rich International, International Rescue Committee and a security guard.
The execution came after the insurgents demanded the sum of 500,000 dollars to release them.
Following their gruesome murder, the United States and United Nations condemned the incidents, expressing sadness.
In a statement issued on July 23, the US Embassy in Nigeria said the five aid workers were working tirelessly to ease the sufferings of millions of Nigerians in the Northeastern part of the country.
“We are deeply saddened by the execution of five humanitarian workers by terrorists in Northeast Nigeria,” the Embassy tweeted on its handle.
At least 9 persons, including 3 personnel of the Nigerian Military were reportedly killed following an attack by gunmen in Tashan Kare and Yakila communities in Rafi local government area of Niger State.
Efforts to speak with the Police in the state proved abortive as the Police Public Relations Officer, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Wasiu Abiodun did not respond to his calls and text messages.
But, a statement by the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche published on the website of the Defense Headquarters, said troops of Operation Whirl Punch engaged the bandits in a gun duel in which an unspecified number of the bandits were killed; however, three soldiers were killed, and two others wounded.
According to Major General Enenche, “In continuation of the aggressive clearance operation to rid criminal elements out of the North-Central region of the country, troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH, has recorded tremendous success against armed bandits. Following credible intelligence on the activities of armed bandits attack at Tashan Kare, in Niger State.
“Troops swiftly mobilized to the scene and made contact with the bandits. The gallant troops engaged the armed bandits with superior fire power killing unspecified number while others fled in disarray into the bushes.
“Sadly own troops suffered 3 casualties while 2 others were wounded in action. Exploitation is on going. Details to follow.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Niger State, Adamu Usman only confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria the abduction of a Chinese expatriate and a Nigerian, at Yakila but refused to speak on those killed.
Noble Reporters Media Television further gathered that the attackers first stormed Yakila community at about 12:00noon on Monday and opened fire on expatriates and some Nigerian citizens who were working on the rehabilitation of Minna Zungeru road.
On hearing the gunshots, a team of security operatives mainly mobile policemen engaged the bandits in a gun shootout which lasted for more than three hours.
A resident in the area and staff of the National Orientation Agency Iliyasu Mohammed also confirmed the incident to Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) via telephone conversation.
According to him, when the bandits arrived Yakila, they started shooting, and then went after the expatriates and construction workers that were working on the road.
Mohammed said the security operatives that were stationed at a signal office around the area responded to the attack which resulted in exchange of gunfire between the bandits and the security personnel.
He said the security personnel sent the bandits on their heels up to a river around Pandogari before returning back, but that 5 of the bandits were reportedly killed, while the security operatives suffered some casualties.
Also, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abubakar Bello on Security matters, Colonel MK Maikundi (retired) confirmed the attack to newsmen.
The latest attack comes barely a week after gunmen attacked Ukuru community in Mariga local government area of the state killing at least fifteen persons, including four vigilante members.
Governor Abubakar Bello, reacting to the attack at the time through a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary Mary Noel-Berje said his administration and the federal government would fine-tune the security strategy in the state to dislodge the armed men.
The Governor who commiserated with families of the victims of the attack had also enjoined them to be vigilant and report activities of anybody they considered alien to them.
According to the statement, Governor Abubakar Bello had also visited a special military camp in Katsina alongside his colleague, the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai to inspect the camp and also seek ways to strengthen the issue of border patrol as the state shares border with neighbouring states in the northwest.
Niger State has come under serious security threats in the last one year due to activities of bandits, with hundreds of persons killed, and thousands of others displaced.
As parts of efforts to rid the nation of bandits, troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
The suspects – Alhaji Adamu Alhassan, Salisu Adamu and Abdullahi Sani were killed by the troops following credible intelligence.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Monday by the Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko.
The suspects were said to be citizens of the Republic of Niger.
“In what could be described as an unprecedented stride, gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY deployed at Forward Operation Base Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State on 15 August 2020 after a painstaking undercover operation successfully smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate who specialize in massive arms supply to bandits in the North West from across the international borders,” the statement partly read.
Items recovered from the suspects include six AK-47 Rifles, three AK-47 Rifle magazines and 2,415 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition deceptively concealed in various parts of their vehicle.
The military authorities said preliminary investigation revealed that the dangerous consignment was meant for some bandits in Isah Local Government Area of the state.
According to them, a swift interception by the troops prevented the further loss of lives of innocent people of the state.
Similarly, troops destroyed 12 bandit camps at Yobe Baranda in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State last week Wednesday.
Following the clearance operation, three bandits were killed in the process with others fleeing with “various degrees of gunshot wounds.”
Troops successfully “arrested a suspected bandit named, Shehu Abdullahi while spying on traders’ activities in the market with the intent of organizing for their kidnap.”
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed additional special forces to southern Kaduna, to boost the ongoing fight against bandits and suspected ethnic militia who have been terrorising residents of the area.
The Air Officer Commanding, NAF Training Command, Air Marshal Musa Mukhtar, addressed the troops before their departure to the southern part of the state on Sunday.
He asked them to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Army troops attached to Operation Safe Haven, by providing both ground and air power during the operation against the criminal elements.
Mukhtar, however, warned the troops to respect the human rights of the people of Southern Kaduna during the operation.
He asked the team of security operatives, numbering 32 and trained in all aspects of counter-insurgency operations, to crush the bandits.
The deployment of additional troops comes as the military steps up operation to combat the rising cases of attacks by bandits and suspected ethnic militia in the area.
Many people have been killed with others injured, while hundreds of families have been displaced as a result of the conflict which has been lingering for many years.
In the past month, army troops, police officials, and other security agencies have been deployed to the troubled areas, even as the attacks seem unabated.
Before the departure of the additional batch of special forces, they were supported with versatile military hardware to aid the onslaught against the enemies.
In his reaction, the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, commended NAF for the deployment of the security operatives to the troubled part of the state.
In a statement on Sunday by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the governor said he received the news of the deployment with joy and appreciation.
According to the statement, the deployment of the special forces to southern Kaduna is a demonstration of the collective will of President Muhammadu Buhari, El-Rufai, the Defence Headquarters, and NAF to tackle the security challenges in the state.
“We are looking forward to meeting the officers and men of the NAF special forces shortly after their induction,” it said.
Three flashpoints have been identified as the strongholds of the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, following a week-long engagement with the service chiefs and other stakeholders in the region.
The areas are Lake Chad fringes, Sambisa Forest, and the Mandara mountains – all located in Borno State.
The engagement which took place on the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari also had the north-east governors in attendance.
“The President has assured the people of Borno State and indeed the north-eastern subregion that he will do everything possible within his reach to ensure that lives and property of people living in Borno State are secured,” Governor Babagan Zulum told reporters in Maiduguri, the state capital shortly after his arrival from Abuja on Sunday.
He added, “We have discussed, especially the issue of strengthening security in the fringes of the Lake Chad and Mandara mountains, as well as in the Sambisa Forest and I think my meeting with the Chief of Air Staff, as well as Chief of Naval Staff and also General (Tukur) Buratai is very promising.”
The governor said Buratai, who is the Chief of Army Staff, promised to look into the issue of clearing the enclaves of the insurgency in the three flashpoints identified.
He was confident that with the renewed commitment of the President and service chiefs, peace would reign again in Borno.
Zulum, who is also the Chairman of the North-East Governors’ Forum, had led his colleagues to the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital and continued engagements with the service chiefs throughout the week.
While at the Villa, the governors identified some of the root causes of the insurgency raving the region and stressed the need for the Nigerian government to address them
They were of the opinion that the insurgents were taking advantage of endemic poverty and hunger among other challenges in the region to recruit more members into their fold.
The governors said the people need to go back to their farmlands and resettle in their original homes so that they can revive their means of livelihood.
They also recommended that police should be provided with state-of-the-art equipment and armoured personnel carriers, with a view to bridging the manpower gap in the military.
On his part, President Buhari gave strong assurances that security would be restored to Borno State, the North East, and the nation at large.
He also informed the governors that things would improve very soon as the government was acquiring modern equipment to fight insurgencies in the region.