Bandits on the rampage, kill 11 in Taraba, abduct over 100 in Zamfara

Terrorists led by one of their kingpins, Damina, have attacked some villages in Zamfara State, kidnapping over 100 villagers just as 11 persons were killed in Taraba State by suspected bandits.

The terrorists stormed Mutunji community, Friday, killing a local and abducting their victims including women and children.

It was learnt that the bandits had imposed over N100 million-levy on farmers before they would be allowed to access their farms.

The incidents were said to have taken place at Mutunji, Unguwar Kawo, Kwantar Dutsi and Sabon Garin Mahuta in Dansadau axis where Damina operates.

A local source told BBC Hausa the gang leader led his men on motorcycles and surrounded the community a few minutes after the dusk prayer at 8:00 p.m.
According to him, “we were sitting in a place called Yar Kasuwa after the Isha’i prayers when the terrorists stormed the community. They surrounded the community while others drove into the community centre. We began running but it was already too late. They matched people into the forest. Men, women and children were abducted.”

Another source also said,”They attacked other communities including Unguwar Kawo, Kwanar Dutsi and Sabon Garin Mahuta and took away several people. We’ve at least 100 people taken. We’re still counting to ascertain the true number of those taken.”

The source said Damina attacked Mutunji because the village failed to give him N50 million he asked them to pay as compensation for “informing soldiers” of bandits’ movements.
The kingpin was said to have given the residents a week to gather the money but the source said they couldn’t gather it.

“We were trying to gather the money reaching out to people when he,Damina, decided to strike.
“He had also imposed such levy on the other communities. Kwana residents were asked to pay N30 million, people of Sabon Garin Mahuta were asked to gather N20 million while residents of Unguwar Kawo were asked to pay N10 million,” he said.

Police spokesperson in the state, Yazid Abubakar, did not respond to calls on his mobile phone.
Meanwhile, when contacted, the spokesperson for 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Lt.Col Musa Yahaya, said the area is under the 8 Division of the Nigerian Army.
Similarly, rampaging bandits attacked communities in Yangtu and Ussa Local Government Areas ,LGAs, of Taraba State, killing 11 people. The attacks, which happened Friday, resulted in the death of nine people in some communities in Yangtu Special Development Area and two others in Tukwog community along Takum-Manya Road.

The Chairman of Ussa Local Government Area, Peter Shamwun, who confirmed the development, raised the alarm that the bandits have laid siege to Takum-Ussa Road, threatening more lives.
A survivor, Yakubu Tinya, who spoke to newsmen, said the attackers came in numbers, shooting sporadically.

The spokesman for Taraba State Police Command, Superintendent of Police, Abdullahi Usman, also confirmed the report.

He further said a joint patrol of the police and military were patrolling to forestall further attacks.
In a related development, Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, called on North-East governors to collaborate in order to overcome insecurity in the region.

Reacting to the incident, Taraba State governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas, condoled with the families of victims and communities in Yangtu and Ussa LGAs.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Digital Communications, Emmanuel Bello, urged security agencies to ensure terrorists are defeated in affected areas. The statement said:” He, Governor Kefas, has promptly directed the Deputy Governor and top security heads to visit the troubled area to seek lasting solutions.

“He said he would not tolerate the threats to lives to continue under his watch. Consequently, Kefas noted that he was doing everything humanly possible to bring an end to such carnage in the state .”
Speaking during a meeting of North-East governors aimed at addressing challenges in the area in Yola, Zulum stressed the need for renewed commitment in the fight against insecurity, poverty, and underdevelopment in the area. He further urged federal government to lend support to the region in addressing key issues such as the poor state of roads, the lack of functional rail lines, and underutilisation of waterways.

(Vanguard)

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Panic: Stop circulating voice recording of alleged robbery in Abuja – Police warn residents

The Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, CP Haruna G. Garba, on Thursday, warned residents against circulating the voice recording alleging a robbery gang in the nation’s capital.

The commissioner gave the warning in a statement issued by the command’s spokesperson, SP Josephine Adeh.

DAILY POST reports that an audio WhatsApp message by one West Robinson, which is currently in circulation, alleged that some criminal elements are using vehicles with foreign plate numbers to commit crimes in the city.

But the PPRO, in the statement, urged residents to stop circulating the audio, stressing that it is creating panic and apprehension in the populace.

According to her, the command had already begun clamping down on such vehicles and their users.

The statement reads, “It may also interest the members of the public that there is an ongoing clampdown on the described vehicles (vehicles with foreign number plates) in the narrative, as the CP emphasises the Command’s commitment to improving the overall security towards the protection of lives and properties of residents without fear or favour.

“The CP equally enjoins the good people of the Territory to be vigilant and take advantage of the Police emergency lines in reporting suspicious activities: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883.”

(Daily Post)

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$1.9bn arms imported into Africa annually – NATCOM

The National Commission for the Coordination and Control of Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, on Tuesday, raised concern over the proliferation and infiltration of arms and ammunition in Africa.

The agency said the development had fuelled conflicts in various parts of the continent.

The acting Director-General of NATCOM, Adejare Adegbenro, in a statement issued in Abuja, lamented that African countries collectively imported approximately $1.9bn worth of arms and ammunition in 2019.

Adegbenro recommended sanctions on arms producers to restrict their ability to fuel conflicts and reduce the occurrence of violence and instability.

He said while frantic efforts had been made for peaceful and prosperous Africa, the infiltration of arms from external sources remained a challenge.

“The arms trade in Africa has far-reaching repercussions, with various regions plagued by conflicts occasioned by the easy access to weapons. From insurgencies and civil wars to insurgency, banditry and violent crimes, the proliferation of arms has dwarfed the continent’s progress. Infiltration of arms and ammunition from foreign producers heightens these issues, as they often end up in the hands of non-state actors and criminals, perpetuating instability and undermining development efforts.

“In 2019, African countries collectively imported approximately $1.9bn worth of arms, including ammunition, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. However, some of these arms and ammunition might have got in the wrong hands.

“For instance, in 2014, a UN group of experts monitoring the arms embargo on the Democratic Republic of Congo documented the presence of heavy machine gun ammunition bearing markings that were consistent with Chinese manufacture in armed group arms caches in the country’s North Kivu province.

“In its 2015 report, the group of experts established that this ammunition was originally part of a 2012 delivery of 12.7 × 108 mm ammunition from China to the Armed Forces of the DRC. Inasmuch as it is illegal to bear arms except for those security agencies or non-state actors licensed to bear them, private individuals, with reckless abandon, procure arms for clandestine use. Hence, the need for a body like NATCOM to ensure the mopping out of illegal arms,” he said.

Adegbenro called for sanctions against arms producers and suppliers fuelling conflicts.

“I believe sanctions on arms producers would restrict their ability to fuel conflicts, thereby reducing the occurrence of violence and instability,” he added.

(Punch)

Kwara govt presents 32 patrol vans, 160 motorcycles to security agencies

The Kwara State Government on Monday presented 32 new patrol vans and 160 motorcycles to security agencies in the state to enhance their movement.

The support comes as the government steps up collaborations to improve security and the lives of the citizens in the hinterlands.

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq also presented three patrol vehicles to the Kwara State Road Traffic Management Authority (KWARTMA) to improve their operations.

Speaking at the presentation, at Government House in Ilorin, he said, “Today is another day in our efforts to strengthen security across the state.

“Each of the 16 local governments is getting two vehicles and 10 motorcycles each.

“The local council authorities are to work closely with all the stakeholders, including traditional rulers within their areas, and make sure that they have serious engagements with security agencies.”

Also speaking at the event, Kwara State House of Assembly Speaker Hon. Yakubu Danladi-Salihu, commended the governor for the initiative, which he said would help to bolster security in every part of the state.

“With what we saw here today, the job of the security networks across the 24 constituencies has been made easier. With this, security will be greatly improved in all the 16 local government areas.

” This shows again that His Excellency means well for the state. He has played his own role, and I plead that those in charge should make good use of it. This will bring positive development to the state,” he said.

(Daily Post)

Coup: US institute tells ECOWAS to deploy troops to Niger Republic

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has advised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to use force to depose the military leaders in the Republic of Niger.

In July, a military junta in the West African country ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

In response to the coup, ECOWAS resolved to use all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the country, including the use of force, if its demands are not met in a week.

The organisation had given Niger a week from Sunday to reinstate ousted President Bazoum or face harder sanctions – but the military junta have refused to yield.

On Friday, President Bola Tinubu, ECOWAS chairman, notified the national assembly about the deployment of military intervention in the Niger Republic.

Chris Kwaja, the USIP country manager, said in a statement, that security contractors would see the region as fragile and take advantage of its natural resources if prompt actions are not taken.

He added that ECOWAS must be proactive in its use of force and ensure that the activities of security mercenaries are curtailed in the region.

“We’ve seen the communique issued by ECOWAS a few days ago to the coupists in Niger, telling them to return the president and have given an ultimatum,” he said.

“So we are waiting to see what ECOWAS will do at the end of the ultimatum and I think if ECOWAS is able to garner the political muscles to bite hard at this time, it will be sending a very strong signal to whoever is outside the country that is supporting and masterminding what we are seeing.

“They are very active in the regions where there are natural resources and would continue to perpetuate conflicts and instability to justify why they should continue their activities wherever they are.

“The ECOWAS communique that was released drew attention to the fact that the region does not welcome private military and security contractors. But unfortunately, we don’t have a regional framework for dealing with that and that is a major gap.

“The international communities will be celebrating 50 years of the enactment of the international committee on mercenaries towards the end of the year and Africa has been the theatre of mercenaries activities.”

However, there have been calls to the ECOWAS against the use of military intervention in the West African country.

Yoruba nation agitator, Igboho will return to Nigeria soon – lawyer

Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, is set to return back to the country, his lawyer, Mr. Pelumi Olajengbesi, has revealed.

Igboho escaped from the country in 2021 after operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, raided his residence in Ibadan, an operation the security agency confirmed led to the death of two persons and the arrest of about 13 others.

The DSS, through its spokesman, Dr. Peter Afunanya, said it carried out the raid after intelligence reports revealed that Igboho allegedly stockpiled weapons in his house.

It, thereafter, launched a manhunt for Igboho who was subsequently arrested in neighbouring Cotonou, Benin Republic, while trying to travel to Germany.

However, addressing newsmen in Abuja on Friday, Olajengbesi, said the embattled Yoruba nation activist, who had since regained his freedom, would soon return back to the country.

“Igboho is doing very well and he will soon be in Nigeria in a very ceremonial way. The arrangements are on,” Olajengbesi told newsmen.

He, however, lamented his inability to enforce a judgement that was delivered in favour of his client, a situation he said was made difficult by the fact that the consent of the Attorney-General of the Federation must first be secured before security agencies could pay judgement debts.

While calling for a review of that provision of the law, Olajengbesi, urged the Federal Government under President Bola Tinubu to have a rethink about people he described as “freedom fighters.”

The lawyer maintained that people like Igboho, the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, as well as the embattled convener of the RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, deserved to be listened to by the government.

He commended President Tinubu “for his purposeful leadership drive, restructuring of the governmental policies and operational systems since assuming the office,” adding that he has “rekindled the hope of average Nigerians that government can serve the common good of the people.”

“We therefore encourage Mr. President to continue in this direction with equity and justice as his working value system.

“We equally want to commend the acting Inspector General of Police; Olukayode Egbetokun for an unusual reforms in the Nigeria Police Force and his commitment to holding errant officers accountable for abuse of official duties and violation of human rights. He is bringing a new value system to the Nigeria police system and this new drive must be sustained.

“We must also commend INEC for filing charges against its suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yunusa Ari in Adamawa State. This is a step in the right direction and it is commendable.”

Highlighting what he termed as certain critical issues in the country that has become a sordid tale for the people, Olajengbesi, asked FG to immediately scrap its Service Compact With All Nigerians, SERVICOM, insisting that the agency has failed to serve its purpose.

The lawyer warned that the Federal Government should stop the tax payers money from being used to fund a moribund organization like SERVICOM which he claimed, is no longer serving any useful purpose.

“The body was supposed to be a mechanism through which Nigerians can lodge complaints against tyrannical and errant public officers whose conducts falls below the standard required of a public and civil servants. SERVICOM customarily have offices in all federal government agencies, take complaints and ensure efficiency, justice and fairness in all government agencies.

“Unfortunately, this body has now failed to uphold the purpose of its establishment. The agency no longer addresses complaints and has now become very ineffective.

“The organization leadership and modus oparandi has accordingly encouraged abuse of official duties on the one hand as well as precluding victims of these errant officers from accessing appropriate remedy within the administrative system,” he added.

Besides, he decried that extant laws in the country has continued to subject citizens to various double taxation policies.

He said: “For instance, the trite position of law is that owners of business names duly registered with Corporate Affairs Commission is not under a legal duty to pay tax over the business name; rather such a person is expected to pay Personal Income Tax pursuant to Section 2 of CITA.

“Unfortunately, it is now a compelling practice for Business names to separately obtain Tax Identification Number (TIN) which consequently expose them to payments of tax while the proprietors of such business names equally pay Personal Income Tax resulting in double taxation.

“Additionally, the government just announced plan to impose the sum of One Thousand naira levy on Nigerian as an annual vehicle proof of ownership levy.

“This is in addition to Personal Income Tax being paid annually by vehicle owners and thousands of naira being paid annually for renewal of vehicle particulars to the government.

“It is our position that these are issues of double taxation that must be keenly considered by the government.”

(Tribune)

Sit-at-home: Ohanaeze backs Mbah, urges police, others to take up challenge

Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has again thrown its weight behind Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State on his vow to end the regular sit-at-home being ordered by a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

The five South-East States have been contending with the Monday sit-at-home being ordered by the Simon Ekpa controlled IPOB faction. This week, he ordered a one week sit-at-home.

But Mbah, since he was sworn-in, had declared that sit-at-home was over in Enugu State.

The Governor has also met with President Bola Tinubu, during which he appealed for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release.

However, on Wednesday, there was tension in Enugu, following reports that gunmen were moving from one area to another enforcing the sit-at-home.

The State government and the police had disowned the reports, attributing it to actions of mischief makers.

In a statement made available to DAILY POST on Thursday, the National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike urged the security agencies to redouble their efforts in winning the confidence of the residents.

Okwu, who said the Governor had worked his talks by providing more logistics to the police, noted that the security agencies owed a duty to ensure that hoodlums did not gain upper hand in the State.

He said, “We want to commend the Governor of Enugu State for his steadfastness towards ending the perennial sit-at-home which has done more harm than good.

“We, the Ohanaeze youths have been in the forefront demanding for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, but we have always said that sit-at-home will not bring Kanu out.

“Governor Peter Mbah showed leadership by meeting with President Tinubu over Kanu’s incarceration and we are sure the Tinubu government will give the request a positive consideration once his cabinet is formed.

“The Governor has also provided more operational vehicles for the police to aid their rapid response.

“Ohanaeze youths applaud the governor for being firm and unshaken in his ban of sit-at-home.”

Okwu expressed worry that security agencies were not living up to expectations.

“However, we are calling on the police and other security agencies to rise up to the challenge. If they were proactive, the confusion witnessed on Wednesday would not happen.

“But the security agencies were nowhere to be found at the strategic locations until news of reported attacks spread across the State. This should not be.

“Considering the high concentration of various security wings within the Enugu metropolis, their presence should have been felt in most of the strategic locations early in the morning.

“We, therefore, call on them to join hands with the Governor in his vow to secure the people of Enugu State. There is no doubt that Governor Peter Mbah is prepared, in a hurry to develop Enugu State, he should be given all the support,” Okwu stated.

(Daily Post)

Operate as a team to address nation’s insecurity, Tinubu charges security chiefs

President Bola Tinubu has asked the newly appointed security chiefs to work as a team to address the country’s insecurity challenges.

The president spoke on Monday, during his first meeting with the security chiefs since their appointment on June 19.

Nuhu Ribadu, the national security adviser (NSA), led the security chiefs to the engagement with Tinubu.

Among those in attendance are Christopher Musa, the chief of defence staff; Taoreed Lagbaja, chief of army staff; Emmanuel Ogalla, chief of naval staff; Hassan Abubakar, chief of air staff; and Kayode Egbetokun, acting IGP.

Speaking with journalists after the sit-down, Ribadu said the president assured the security chiefs that he is 100 percent with them as they carry out their responsibilities.

The NSA added that Tinubu urged the security chiefs to deliver on the mandate of addressing the country’s security challenges.

“We’re here to thank Mr President for the opportunity he gave us to serve our country and to serve his own government,” he said.

“We also pledged our loyalty to him, Nigeria and Nigerians. We believe the choice he made is the right one, the correct one, and we know what he wants for this country.

“We’re going to work tirelessly to ensure that we accomplish that objective of securing our country, establishing peace, stability and let’s get our lives back.

“He gave us the assurance that he’s with us hundred percent. He told us that we must work as a team and that there’s work to be done, he’ll expect us to deliver and we’re grateful for the opportunity. That’s why we are here.”

Ribadu noted that the country’s security situation is improving, adding that the security chiefs would secure the nation.

“Where we are today and you can see already things are improving in our country. If you see the record of crimes and the activities of criminals are going down, it will continue to go down. We’ll secure this place,” he said.

“Nigerians have seen the quality of the people that are given the opportunity, they are probably some of the best we have and they are not going to fail you, they’ll certainly deliver.”

Negotiate with bandits like Niger Delta militants’ dialogue – Ex-gov Yerima tells FG

Former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Sani Yarima, has emphasized that engaging in dialogue with bandits is the solution to the prevailing insecurity in North Western part of Nigeria.

During an interview with BBC Hausa service on Saturday, the former governor said that if the bandits are treated similarly to how former militants in the Niger Delta were handled, the banditry issue could be overcome.

Senator Yarima also highlighted that during his tenure as governor, the only security challenge faced by the state was arm robbery, and with the commitment and efforts of the security agencies, the issue was effectively tackled.

Yarima stated he firmly believed that Nigerian security agencies, with adequate support, possess the capability to handle the security situation in the country, as they have all the necessary resources to do so.

He said, “I’m advising the government to, first of all, find time to sit with these bandits, just like they sat with Niger Delta militants in the past. Because a majority of them are Nigerians, even though there are some foreigners among them. But Nigerians among them can be convinced, as the Niger Delta militants were convinced and empowered to stop. If that fails, then the government can use force on them wherever they are.”

Senator Yarima also highlighted that previous dialogues entered into with the bandits by other state governors were not conducted in good faith.

He said that he personally monitored the previous dialogues and discovered that most promises made to the bandits were not fulfilled.

He attributed ignorance and poverty as the driving factors behind people resorting to banditry, emphasizing that only illiterate individuals would take up arms and kill innocent people.

He proposed that the issue can be addressed if the bandits are approached and the government sincerely empowers them, just as was done with the Niger Delta militants.

The senator lamented that poverty and ignorance are responsible for most of the crises and problems in the country, emphasizing the need for leaders to find solutions to these issues.

He further criticized political leaders who, instead of addressing people’s problems, choose to embezzle billions from the public coffers for their own benefit.

He appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with the new government led by President Bola Tinubu, assuring them that positive changes would be witnessed before the end of his tenure.

The senator further commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s initial steps, stating that reopening the borders would undoubtedly alleviate the hardships currently faced by Nigerians.

Eid-el Adha: NSCDC deploys 2,200 personnel for security in Kwara

Kwara state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 2,200 personnel of the command to ensure a hitch-free celebration in all parts of the state.

In a statement by the public relations officer (PRO) of the command, Olasunanmi Ayeni, on Monday, the state commandant of the Civil Defence, Umar Mohammed, assured people of the state of a safe Kwara state throughout the celebration while he congratulated Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and the chairman of the state traditional council and the Emir of Ilorin, Dr. Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, on the festival.

He urged the public not to relent in their usual cooperation and support in giving credible and timely information that can assist the security agencies in providing the needed security.

He enjoined all officers and men of the command to discharge their duties with the utmost respect for the rule of law, saying that the command would give the needed support for the officers and men to achieve needed results during and after the celebration.

The commandant appreciated the Commandant, General Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, for his support and commitment towards the good welfare of all officers and men of the corps.

He congratulated all Muslim faithful and prayed for a successful celebration.

(Tribune)

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