Gunmen attack Adamawa police station, kidnap nursing mother

Suspected kidnappers have attacked Ngurore Police station in Yola South local government area of Adamawa state.

They also attacked a house in the area and abducted a nursing mother.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Sulaiman Nguroje, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.

Nguroje said the criminal gang attacked the station at about 2 a.m.  Sunday, but that no casualty was recorded.

He said: “The suspected kidnappers targeted one Alhaji Umaru of Nasarawo B, a resident of Ngurore town in Yola South LGA.

“The criminals separated into two groups; one attacked the police station to divert the attention of security operatives, while other group attacked Alhaji Umaru’s house and kidnapped his wife, Hauwa Umaru, and her daughter.

“The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Mohammed Barde, has ordered the deployment of operational asset including Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Crack Squad and Anti-Kidnapping units to Ngurore.”

 Nguroje explained that the operational units were expected to carry out confidence-boosting patrols within the hotspots in coordinated operations to rescue the kidnap victims and apprehend the culprits.

He said the commissioner assured that the command was committed to working with other patriotic stakeholders toward restoring public order in Ngurore and other parts of the state.

The Police spokesman also  said Head of the Police Intervention Team Babagana Abubakar was already on ground to coordinate Police investigative operation and rescue response.

He called on citizens to go about their normal businesses in peaceful and law abiding manner, and report any suspicious person(s) around their neighbourhood to security agencies.

Katsina Telecoms shutdown

In a related development, residents of Faskari local government area of Katsina state have lamented continuing attacks by bandits despite the military operations and other measures taken by the state government.

This is coming even as government officials and security agents say the measures have been yielding the desired results.

Individuals and groups, especially from Faskari local government, have been complaining of “silent killings” in their villages.

Security measures

Bandits have been operating in most of the North-west states for over a decade but the situation got worse in the past few years.

Banditry is the code name in the region for organised crimes like kidnapping, cattle rustling, mass abduction, arson and even armed robbery.

Following the increase in the number of attacks, governors of North-west states imposed certain security measures.

In Katsina, Governor Aminu Masari closed two major roads – Jibia to Gurbin Baure and Kankara to Sheme – to traffic. Commercial vehicles were advised to take Funtua road but private vehicles can still ply the Kankara-Sheme road.

The governor also banned cattle markets in 14 towns. These are Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Danmusa, Kankara, Malumfashi, Charanci, Mai adua, Kafur, Faskari, Sabuwa, Baure, Dutsin Ma and Kaita.

He also banned movement of cattle in trucks and of firewood from the bush.

The governor also prohibited more than two people from riding on a motorcycle and more than three in a tricycle, and sale of petroleum in jerry cans. A popular second-hand motorcycles market in Charanci was also suspended.

To cut fuel supply to the bandits who ride in convoys of motorcycles to attack communities, the governor said only two designated fuel stations can now sell fuel, and of not more than N5,000 to a person, in the local government areas most affected by the crisis.

Few weeks later, mobile telecommunications were cut in 13 local government areas considered to be vulnerable to attacks.

The Special Adviser to Mr. Masari on security matters, Ibrahim Katsina, told Premium Times that the measures were taken to disrupt the bandits’ communication network.

We are dying in silence – Residents

In a statement sent to the office of the state governor, a community group, Daudawa Area Council Unity Development Association, said the measures have so far affected the ordinary people more than the bandits.

Commenting on the letter, Hassan Usman, the association’s chairman, said bandits now attack with impunity, knowing that residents have no means of informing security agents of impending attacks.

“We are witnessing the worst form of insecurity now because the bandits can organise teams to launch attack with impunity and because we have no means of communicating with the outside world, we can’t even seek more security personnel,” Usman said.

Though he commended the security agents working in the area, Mr Usman said they also face the challenge of not being able to call for reinforcement.

“Their (security agents) attempts to repel attacks always fail because of the communication error which makes things difficult,” he said.

Locals told this online platform that recent attacks on Daudawa and Yan Nasarawa (all in Faskari local government area) forced many residents to flee from their communities in large numbers.

In Daudawa, they killed nine people and kidnapped several others. Shops and houses were looted and later burnt.

The following morning on October 4, bandits raided Yan Nasarawa and abducted several women.

But locals like Auwal Hassan Nasarawa said the attack was more of foodstuffs scavenging.

“They came looking for food. Almost all the houses and shops they attacked, they took away any food item they saw.”

Lawal Ibrahim, also from Daudawa, asked the state government to relax the mobile network shutdown so that people can report any attack.

“When they attacked Daudawa on Sunday, they even said their next target was Unguwar Samanja, which is also not far from us here. We want the network to be opened so that security agents can be sent to the town and other vulnerable ones,” Ibrahim said.

Abu Dan Malam said when the decisions were taken by the state government; people welcomed it because “we thought they would do the needful.”

“What is the purpose of shutting down network when you are not taking the fight to the bandits’ camps? They (security agents) still wait for them to come so that they could repel them. We need the state government to act accordingly,” Mr Malam pleaded.

We’re studying impact – Katsina govt

But in an interview with Premium Times, Mr Katsina, said the state government did not impose the measures to strangulate its people.

He added that the impact was being studied and the next line of action would be decided by the findings of the state government.

 “We are assessing the situation to know where we have made an impact and where we have shortcomings in order to know areas of improvement. All we want the general public to know is that we didn’t impose the decisions to make life difficult for them, rather to ensure the protection of life and properties. We need cooperation and understanding from the public.

“The decisions were taken because we must take all the necessary measures to address the insecurity,” Katsina said.

But police spokesman in the state, Mr  Gambo Isa, said security agents had “recorded huge success” in the fight against insecurity following the shutdown of mobile networks in some areas.

Tucano jets making impact – FG

Meanwhile, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has said the deployment of the A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets by the federal government procured from the United States, was making the right impact in the insurgency fight against in Nigeria.

The minister disclosed this at a forum in Abuja.

The federal government took delivery of 10 out of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets from the US.

He said: “As of today, we have 10 of the jets on ground and the remaining two, I think should be delivered in the next two weeks or so.

“The introduction of these platforms had made a whole lot of difference and changed the dynamics of the war.”

He said the deployment of the jets contributed immensely to the successes being recorded in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists who were surrendering in droves in the North-East.

Mohammed added: “In addition to the non-kinetic measures taken against bandits in the North-West and other troubled states, the platforms had also helped in neutralising criminals.

 “When these people surrender, it is either they are over-powered, they are starved of their operations or it has become impossible for them to carry out their dastardly acts.

“They do not just surrender voluntarily. It is just that our media are not doing what they ought to be doing.

“What is expected of them is to probe that since the introduction of the Super Tucano, how many bandits have been killed, how many terrorists have surrendered?”

On when Nigeria will buy more fighter jets, Mohammed said the jets were high-grade weapons that could not be bought off the shelves.

“People have forgotten that under former President Barrack Obama, the US denied Nigeria these Super Tucanos.

“A lot of diplomacies went on before we got these ones,” he said.

On separatists and bandits

The minister also said the federal government was not preferential treatment between groups advocating separation from the country and bandits, especially in the North-west Zone.

He  described as misleading and erroneous the notion that members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were getting harder clampdown from security forces.

Mohammed maintained that the federal government would continue to apply all necessary measures, including use of the military, to prevent criminal groups from undermining the territorial integrity and peace of the country.

“We noticed that of recent, there is this misinformation as regards the way the Federal Government, especially the military, is handling the issue of banditry and terrorism.

“There is this misconception that the Federal Government is softer on the terrorists in the North-east and the bandits from the North-west and the way they handle separatists and other criminals from the South-east and South-west.

“I want to say without any hesitation that this is a fallacy. It is a misrepresentation, misinformation and fake news all rolled into one.

“The truth of the matter is that the Federal Government does not make a distinction between terrorists and bandits.

“As far as the Federal Government is concerned they are all criminals and they are treated the same way. It is very important to set the record straight. Why do I say this? Because, it is a continuation of the destructive rhetoric of some commentators,’’ he said.

The minister further said the issue of security of the country should not be politicised because of its sensitive nature.

He said: “The issue of security must not be politicised. Security is security. Bandits kill soldiers; they kill policemen and innocent people.

“So, why will the military be softer on one set of criminals than the other?

The minister reiterated the position of the federal government to build more on the ongoing peace process across the country as well as tackle bandits, kidnappers and other criminal groups.


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