The apex northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has described the recurring attacks, abduction and killings of innocent people on the Abuja-Kaduna highway as a national shame.
This is just as the forum said it was becoming “agitated by the unrestrained acts of terrorism on the strategic highway between Abuja, the Federal Capital and Kaduna, the former capital of defunct Northern Region.”
The ACF, through its national publicity Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Yawe, expressed worry that on a daily basis, Nigerians are being terrorised, kidnapped and killed without let on this road.
“This is a national shame and completely unacceptable to our forum,” he said.
The latest victim of this act of terror is Alhaji Hamida Sagir, a retired director of protocol at the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and a governorship aspirant in Zamfara State who was shot and killed at Rijana, a village along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
“Indeed, Rijana has become a popular spot where these terrorist attacks are committed on a daily and routine basis. This is a challenge the security agencies must overcome.
“We are worried that every day Nigerians are attacked at this same spot and our security men seem helpless in sorting out the security problems that make such attacks on the same spot easy.
“The government – both the Kaduna and the federal government itself which owns the highway – appear – to be helpless in securing the lives of Nigerians on this road.
“We call on both governments to save us from this security nightmare by saving the lives of our innocent citizens”.
ACF commiserated with the immediate family of the slain Sagir Hamida and the Zamfara State government, just as it prayed Almighty Allah to give them the fortitude to bear the tragedy.
Zamfara State Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle yesterday condemned the killing of the APC governorship aspirant, Sagir Hamida, on the Kaduna-Abuja highway.
A statement issued in Gusau, the state capital, by the director-general, media, Yusuf Idris, said Governor Matawalle was gravely shocked at the news of the incident, as the deceased was one of the promising politicians the state had produced with a good vision for the enhancement of self-reliance especially among the youth.
He said Sagir Hamida would be remembered for his various contributions to the political and socio-economic development of the state where he left a wide gap that will be difficult to fill.
The Zamfara governor said death is inevitable but that losing a worthy son like Sagir Hamida is a great loss, adding that his contributions would remain indelible in the minds of the people of the state.
Matawalle prayed Allah to accept his soul and grant him Jannatu Firdaus
The governor also extended his heartfelt condolence to Gusau Emirate Council, the deceased’s immediate family, the people and government of Zamfara State, praying Allah to give them the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.
Northern Leaders Lack Courage To Confront Challenges – CNG
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has accused the leaders of the region of lacking the required courage to confront the myriad problems in the region.
According to the group, the security situation in the north is very discouraging with things bound to get worse.
The spokesman of the group, Suleiman Abdul-Azeez, who was reacting to the security situation in the region, said: “This is the case when you have leaders who are ill-equipped or ill-prepared for the role of leading a people. The situation in the North today is far from encouraging, with the population being led by people who would not be advised or criticized in anything they do, even when they are doing everything the wrong way.
“We cannot say that the situation in the North is irredeemable; we are confident that with the right leadership, the North will overcome its current challenges around security and the economy.
“The reality is, however, that most northerners have by now realised that leaders we elected will not and cannot do much to secure our lives.”
The CNG spokesman stated those who pose as northern leaders today are people who have lost the political will, the necessary courage and capacity to confront challenges.
He further said the criminals had sensed the huge vacuum in the capacity of both the federal and state governments in the North to challenge them, which is why they carry out their nefarious with impunity.
“The CNG is currently in the process of assembling a united regional force to lead the estranged northern public to salvage and protect their families and communities in the face of the glaring failure of government in the vital area of providing security of lives and properties,” he added.
Bandits’ Spiritual Leader Arrested In Niger
Meanwhile, the Niger State Police Command has arrested the spiritual leader of a banditry and kidnapping gang terrorising villages in Niger and Nasarawa states and the nation’s capital, Abuja .
It was learnt that Umar Samaila, 50, was arrested on Sunday night at Gussasu village near Maikunkele, Bosso local government area of the state
Niger State police spokesman Wasiu Abiodun, who confirmed the arrest, said Samaila was arrested based on “technical intelligence of a plan to kidnap some worshipers on 21/11/2021 in a Church at Buku village, Abaji area council of FCT, Abuja.”
Abiodun said the police operatives attached to Intelligence unit of Niger State Police Command arrested him immediately and that “during interrogation, the suspect confessed to being the spiritual leader to some notorious bandits hibernating in Niger, FCT Abuja and Nasarawa States.”
He said that the suspect confessed that during his last conversation with his gang on the same date at about 07:20 am, he directed them to go ahead with the operation and assured them of success.
“He also promised to pray for the release of a suspected bandit known as Julli currently in Police custody at Abuja. The suspect will be transferred to FCT Command, Abuja, for further investigation,” Abiodun said.
Meanwhile, he said information received from a credible source revealed that some suspected kidnappers/cattle rustlers were sighted at Maijaki forest via Lapai and Rafindaji forest, a boundary between Niger and FCT Abuja and that on receipt of the information, a joint police/vigilante unit attached to Lapai Division were mobilised to the forests during which four suspects were arrested.
He said Abubakar Alhaji Buba, Shehu Mallam Jare, Abubakar Garba, and Abubakar Na’Allah were arrested and 40 cows and 15 sheep recovered from them.
Bandits Kill 4 In Katsina, 11 Rescued In Kaduna
Suspected bandits yesterday attacked Barawa village in Batagarawa local government area of Katsina State, killing four persons.
They also rustled animals, looted food items and other items worth millions of naira.
A source in the community said the bandits numbering over 100 with sophisticated weapons invaded their village which is 10km from Katsina town around 9pm, shot and killed innocent people as well as collected their money, foodstuff and other valuables for over an hour without being challenged by any security agencies.
He said, “At the moment, we have seen four dead bodies: three males and a female. The bandits moved from house to house to steal several goats, cows and money.
“They collected N410,000 and an unspecified number of animals from one Mallam Bello Musa, a resident of the area,” he said.
This incident happened a few days after the state police command lost two gallant officers in the fight against banditry, despite the containment order in place to curtail the bandits who had devised another method of attacking innocent people in their houses.
The state police command was yet to make an official statement about the attack at the time of filing this report yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State government yesterday confirmed that an unspecified number of persons were kidnapped, 11 rescued and one person killed in the attack on travellers on the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
According to the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Mudassiru, alongside the Garrison Commander, One Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier General UT Opune, and the representative of the State Director, Department of State Services, Mr SG Shinkafi, led other security agencies to the location at Kurmin Kare, Kachia LGA, where the bandits carried out the attack which left one person dead and an unspecified number kidnapped.
He said, “11 citizens were rescued while one person, Alhaji Muhammad Sagir Hamidu, chairman and CEO of Famaks British School, lost his life. The vehicle used by Alhaji Hamidu was also recovered by the Police.”
On measures taken by the security forces, the Kaduna Commissioner of Police disclosed that more men and assets had been deployed to the route, adding that the efforts of the Police were being complemented by the military.
The commissioner of Police also said the practice of driving against the flow of traffic was a major security threat, as it exposed travellers to the risk of ghastly accidents, and also created build-ups which could be exploited by bandits.
The Garrison Commander, One Division Nigerian Army, discussed measures being taken by the Military, and assured the Kaduna State Government of their commitment to the security of citizens and commuters along the route. He explained that joint security operations were currently in progress in the state’s frontline areas.
On the shutdown of telecommunication services in frontline areas, Aruwan explained that difficult situations required difficult measures, adding that successes were being recorded as a result of the shutdown, which could not be disclosed in details due to the sensitivity of operations. He pleaded with citizens experiencing communication difficulties to bear with the temporary measures in view of overall security advantages.
Insurgents, Bandits Fuelling Poverty – PMB
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday blamed insurgents and bandits for the spreading poverty in the country.
Then president made this comment yesterday in Abuja at the meeting of African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) during which he pledged support for the resolutions of aimed at promoting peace and development on the continent.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the 9th General Assembly of the AFLPM, the President also urged African leaders and other stakeholders to support the women in realising their core objective of building a peaceful society.
The Nigerian leader expressed concern that peace had become an elusive subject that affects development in many regions of Africa.
”The activities of insurgents and bandits have led to more widespread displacement and poverty. It is not in doubt that women and children are the worst affected by the breakdown of peace. Therefore, as mothers, I believe, you are in a better position to drive the processes of peace and actions where necessary.
”Indeed, I’m happy to know that your forum has been working towards promoting peaceful coexistence within the continent in so many ways,” he said.
According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari congratulated the Nigerian First Lady, Dr Aisha Buhari, for acquiring a piece of land on behalf of all First Ladies for the development of a secretariat for the Mission in Abuja.
”It gladdens my heart to know that when completed the secretariat will serve several purposes including creating employment opportunities as well as generating income for sustainability,” he said.
The 9th General Assembly of the AFLPM unanimously elected the First Lady of Nigeria as the new president.
In her acceptance speech, Dr Aisha Buhari pledged to execute her new responsibility with total commitment, urging her colleagues to work in unison towards a glorious destiny for Africa.
Tackling Root Causes, Only Panacea To Terrorism – ECOWAS
The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said that the only solution to the violent extremism and terrorism ravaging parts of the regional bloc is to tackle the root causes of the menace.
The Commission, which traced the root causes of terrorism in West Africa to cases of weak governance, poverty, youth unemployment and human rights abuses, lamented that Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad Basin alone in the last 10 years led to more than 30,000 deaths, with terrorism displacing over three million people in the region.
Vice President of ECOWAS Commission, Madam Finda Koroma said this at the launch of the Early Warning Study on the Spillover of Violent Extremism to ECOWAS Coastal Member State in Abuja yesterday.