Posted by News Express | 13 June 2020 | 498 times
The rising incidences of banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminal activities across the country is giving Nigerians serious cause for concern, even as President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the determination of his administration to remain committed to the security of lives and property.
In his speech to mark Democracy Day on Friday, Buhari said security was being accorded “appropriate priority”, but that appears to a great extent, have been undermined by the many security breaches resulting in the loss of many lives in different parts of the country.
In Kaduna State for instance, our correspondent reports that no fewer than 105 people were killed and 29 people were abducted within the past four months.
Between March 1 and May 30, 2020, our correspondent gathered that at least 92 people were killed in Kajuru, Chikun, Igabi, Giwa and Birnin Gwari local government areas of the state.
The security situation in the five local governments according to Governor Nasir El-Rufai has become a major concern for farmers.
Bandits had killed 51 people in Igabi and Giwa local government areas on March 1, in what many saw as a reprisal a few weeks after a February 5 onslaught on bandits at the Kudaru forest by a combined security team.
In Kajuru, tit-for-tat killings between Adara and Fulani groups claimed several lives and destruction of property with the latest attacks involving a Fulani settlement and the killing of nine Adara residents in Agwala village in Tudun Wadan Doka district of Kajuru.
In a most recent stand-off, Adara youths on Saturday lynched four of their kinsmen who they accused of being Fulani informants in Doka and Kallah villages in Kajuru.
The military had in a combined ground and air operation last Friday said it killed 70 armed bandits and cattle rustlers in Kachia forest and pursued them through Chikun Local Government Areas.
On Monday, Governor El-Rufai warned bandits to either stop killing people or get wiped out, stressing that the onslaught against them would continue unabated.
“We do not negotiate with bandits, we kill them, we don’t talk to them, we are going to wipe them out by the grace of God through the combined operations of the Nigerian Airforce, the Nigerian Army, and the Inspector General of Police Special Peace Squad,” he said.
There has also been a recent noticeable spike in kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry and other criminal activities in parts of Kogi State our correspondent reports.
The return of kidnapping to the Kogi axis of the Lokoja-Abuja expressway has been creating fears and concerns among residents and road users.
In just a day, precisely on Wednesday, June 10, gunmen operated on the highway between Gegu-Ohoko and Omoko community leaving bloody trails behind.
Five persons including a little girl were reportedly killed in three operations with about 22 people abducted in separate operations on the same day.
It was learnt that while two of the operations were on the main highway, the third was an attack on a Fulani settlement around Omoko where gunmen killed a herder and a farmer of Tiv extraction and rustled cows.
Our correspondent observed a rise in criminal activities shortly after the conclusion of the governorship election in November.
Although Kogi was among the states that were rated high in criminal activities in the past, there had been a coordinated approach and political will by Governor Yahaya Bello to halt the menace.
With the various security measures put in place by Bello, there was an appreciable reduction in crime rate.
However, our correspondent learnt that the electioneering campaigns created a lull in the fight against insecurity, thereby giving the ‘bad boys’ the leeway to reorganize and return.
Kidnapping and armed robbery activities increased in Okene, Ogori-Magogo, Ajaokuta, Igalamela-Odolu, Dekina, Ofu, Bassa and Kogi local government areas.
There has been a rise in banditry mainly on the boundaries with Nasarawa and Benue.
Worried by the development, Governor Bello appointed a senior special assistant on security for each of the 21 local government areas with a mandate to work assiduously with security operatives and directors of local government towards riding the state of criminals.
Similarly, the Coalition of Political Parties in Kogi State raised an alarm over rising insecurity in the state. The coalition leader, Ibrahim Itodo, decried the recent upsurge in kidnapping and banditry on the Lokoja-Abuja highway, while urging security agencies to rise up to the challenge.
Police on the trail of perpetrators The police have however declared an all out war on perpetrators of criminal activities.
The police spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, said operatives were closing in on the perpetrators of the recent attack in Kogi State.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu had shortly after the attack ordered a full-scale manhunt for the perpetrators of the attack on Isanlu Police station and a commercial bank in Yagba East.
Mba told Daily Trust that significant progress had been made in the investigation, but declined giving details.
It is difficult to clearly estimate the number of attacks carried out by Boko Haram/ISWAP in Borno State. Many of them took place in the remote communities unreported. The military authorities themselves are mostly averse to divulging information on the number of attacks.
As a result of the increase in attacks, the Borno Elders Forum (BEF) has alleged that “someone somewhere is bent on wiping out the Northern population.”
“Huge numbers of northerners are being killed in the North-East, the North-West and the North-Central in the name of insurgency, banditry and herder-farmer clashes,” the spokesman of the forum, Dr. Bulama Mali Gubio, told newsmen yesterday in Maiduguri on FRIday.
“The three zones of Northern Nigeria are losing immense numbers of its people, its cattle and its other resources,” he noted, adding, “Where are the cattle and other resources taken to? What is happening in Northern Nigeria?”
The BEF spokesman said the elders were baffled that the governors in the affected states were left to grieve alone.
The forum was reacting to the recent killing of 85 people at a village near Gubio in Borno State last Tuesday.
Armed bandits recently invaded six communities in Safana, Dutsinma and Danmusa local government areas of Katsina State and killed scores of residents. The police later confirmed the killing of 47 people but residents said 70 bodies were recovered.
They also said many others were seriously injured while houses were burnt, just as food items and money were seized by the bandits. The attack followed several others in the state in recent times
The Nasarawa State Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Alhaji Jibril Giza, was recently kidnapped in Shabu town in Lafia Local Government.
The Special Adviser to the state governor on Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, Mr. John W. Mamman was also kidnapped in his house at Dari, Kokona Local Government Area of the state.
A second-class traditional ruler in Lafia Local Government, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji, the Aron Akye of Ugah, was also recently kidnapped in his palace at Ugah Town in Lafia, the state capital.
A witness said about two dozen men stormed the palace with AK-47 rifles, scaled the fence, fired many shots into the air, abducted the monarch and fled on motorcycles.
The state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Bishop Joseph Masin, was also kidnapped after gunmen stormed his residence at midnight.
The police in the state have however risen to the challenge by going after the criminals and making some arrests, according to the spokesman, ASP Ramhan Nansel. Recently, the military dispersed a sect in Toto local Government Area of the state.
Niger State has also continued to battle kidnapping and banditry which has rendered many homeless.
Many communities and villages were attacked by bandits leading to death of many while others were injured and several were kidnapped.
A recent attack was at Zhenuko village in Shiroro Local Government Area where a farmer was killed while three people were kidnapped by gunmen.
The attack came five days after five people from Gutarrindna village in Dnakudna district in the same Shiroro local government were abducted and are still in captivity.
The gunmen had placed a N10 million ransom on the heads of each of the victims and issued a notice to the people of Baga village in Erena community of their intention to attack them.
About 30 heavily armed men three weeks ago, stormed a construction site and whisked away one Abubakar Ibrahim Jibrin, a worker with the Niger State Ministry of Works and three staff of Triacta Construction Company in Erena.
Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello while reacting to the abduction in a statement vowed to rescue them alive, and get the gunmen. (Daily Trust)
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