Bandits abduct village head, Imam in Zamfara, demands N5m ransom

The head of Rakyabu village in the Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Magaji Sa’idu, and the Chief Imam of the village Malam Abdullahi, have been abducted by bandits.

An indigene of the area, Amadu Mohammed told The PUNCH that the village head and the Chief Imam were abducted from their houses by bandits on Sunday night.

The bandits, according to Mohammed, demanded N5m as ransom, out of which the community had only raised N500,000 through donations by the people of the village.

He lamented that despite collecting the N500,000 the bandits refused to release the village head and the Imam.

He said, “When the bandits sent a message demanding N5m as ransom, the families of the two abducted people could not get any reasonable amount.

“As such, we decided to launch an appeal fund where we generated the sum of N500,000 and handed the amount to the bandits.

“They collected the money and told us that, we must pay the remaining balance which is N4.5m.”

Mohammed said raising N4.5m was an impossible task for the community, more so, as the bandits had rustled and stolen all the animals they could have sold to raise some money.

“We have nothing to sell and get the money needed by the bandits because they have taken everything from us,” he said.

He called on the state government and security agencies to do something to rescue their village head and the Chief Imam.

The spokesperson of the state police command, ASP Yazid Abubakar, could not be reached for comment at the time of filing this report.

(Punch)

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Insecurity: FG negotiating with terrorists in Zamfara without recourse to me, says Gov Lawal

Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State, has accused the Federal Government of negotiating with terrorists in the state.

Lawal claimed that the Federal Government was engaging terrorists in some local governments without his knowledge.

The governor disclosed this in a statement signed by his media aide, Sulaiman Idris.

The statement reads: “Reports indicated that a delegation allegedly sent by some agencies of the Federal Government has been holding talks with bandit groups in Zamfara without the knowledge of the state government.”

He challenged the federal government to clarify the report and investigate the claim.

“Governor Dauda Lawal wishes to call on the Federal Government to clarify and investigate the actions of some unscrupulous elements sabotaging the ongoing fight against banditry in Zamfara.

“The Zamfara State Government has received reports of how some Federal Government delegation met with different bandit groups in Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Mun haye, Ajah, Bawo and Bagege,” he added.

(Daily Post)

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Tinubu orders immediate rescue of abducted Zamfara students

President Bola Tinubu on Sunday directed security agencies to rescue the remaining female students of the Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, who were recently abducted by terrorists.

Around 3:00 a.m. Friday, armed bandits breached at least three hostels in the school and led away several students, including females.

Friday’s abduction comes only five months after armed persons kidnapped at least two female students of the same university.

Within the same period, over 80 youths who went to the forest to pick firewood were kidnapped in Wanzamai village in Zamfara.

Zamfara has been a hotbed of terror in recent years with the provocative kidnap of 279 female students aged between 10 and 17 during a raid by armed bandits on February 26, 2021, from Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe.

The incidents continue despite an existing no-fly zone imposed by former President Muhammadu Buhari over particular volatile areas.

During Friday’s abduction, personnel of the Nigerian army reportedly engaged the terrorists in a shootout and rescued six female students.

However, over 20 students remain in terrorist custody.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, President Bola Tinubu said, “There is no moral justification for such heinous crimes against innocent victims whose only ‘offence’ was their pursuit of quality education.”

The statement is titled ‘President Tinubu directs security agencies to rescue remaining female students abducted at Federal University, Gusau.’

Condemning the reprehensible act, the President commiserated with all families directly impacted by the sad incident.

He affirmed that his “administration has a solemn duty to protect every Nigerian citizen, and in line with this commitment, assures the families of the abducted students that no effort will be spared in ensuring their safe return.”

Furthermore, the President pledged that the federal government is determined to ensure that educational institutions remain sanctuaries of knowledge, growth, and opportunity and are totally free from the menacing acts of terrorists.

(Punch)

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Total blackout in Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara as fire destroys transmission station

Fire on Thursday gutted the Transmission station of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.

The incident, which started in the late hours of Thursday, was said to have destroyed the 60 and 90MVA transformers feeding Kebbi Sokoto and Zamfara States.

Police Public Relations Officer, Kebbi Police Command, SP Nafiu Abubakar, confirmed the development but didn’t make any comment on the cause of the outbreak.

The fire outbreak came up a few hours after the restoration of the national grid, which collapsed in the hours of the day.

Adebayo Adelabu, Minister of Power, said the collapse of the national grid was caused by a fire outbreak on the Kainji/Jebba 330KV line.

However, the affected transformers were feeding Kebbi, Sokoto, and some parts of Zamfara State, which include Talata Mafara, Bakura, Maradun, Anka and other parts of Zamfara West.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna Electric Power Distribution Company (KAEDCO) has attributed the recent power outage in some parts of Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara to the fire incident in Kebbi State transmitting station, saying that it regrets any inconveniences the service disruption might have caused to its customers.

“The Management of Kaduna Electric regrets to inform its valued customers in parts of Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States that the power outage currently being experienced is as a result of the unfortunate fire incident that gutted some critical power supply infrastructure at the Transmission Works Centre in Birnin Kebbi last night.

“Our counterparts from TCN are assessing the extent of damage with a view to commencing necessary repair works. We deeply sympathize with the management and staff of TCN over the unfortunate development,” the company’s management said in a statement released on its verified Twitter (X) account on Friday.

(Daily Post)

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