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Banditry: Group urges citizens to partner police with information

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Initiative for Leadership Development and Change, A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has urged citizens to partner the Police in stemming banditry and other security challenges in the country.

President of the group, Chief Ugochukwu Nnam, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

Nnam said that the police under the leadership of current Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, was capable of detecting and crushing bandits, with collaboration of citizens.

“The present IGP is a dedicated and uncompromising police officer with the determination to fight all manner of crimes in Nigeria.

“But, he cannot achieve that without our support in the area of information,” Nnam said.

Describing banditry as “evil and demonic”, he wondered how humanity had degenerated.

He said that banditry was a wicked act, which was at its peak, adding that it was time to end it.

Nnam expressed confidence in the capability of the Adamu-led police to secure Nigerians, and said that the end of banditry was near.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the police and security agencies in the fight against insecurity.

According to him, if not for President Buhari’s military background and support, these bandits would have wiped out our people.

Nnam urged Nigerians to be at alert, especially in their neighbourhood, saying such would help in reporting any suspicious movement.

Buhari had recently assured Nigerians that terror of banditry and other security challenges would soon be history.

Edited by Chioma Ugboma and Olisa Ifeajika

Defence/Security

Banditry: Don’t give breathing space to bandits –Chief of Air Staff urges NAF Special Forces

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The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has urged the troops deployed to fight against banditry and kidnapping in the North Central and North West, to continue to do everything possible not to give breathing space to bandits.

Abubakar gave the directive on Thursday when he paid operational visit to the 213 Forward Operating Base, Katsina, where he addressed NAF Special Forces.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abubakar was earlier briefed by the Air Officer commanding Special Operations Command of the Nigerian Air Force, AVM Charles Ohwo, on the operations.

“I appreciate your efforts, but I urge you to give no breathing space to bandits.

“Locate the bandits, identify their locations and ensure that they do not attack people.

“Do everything humanly possible and ensure that Nigerians conduct their legal activities without hindrance,” he said.

Abubakar further urged the officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force to ensure that farmers go to their farms during this rainy season.

“Do not allow bandits to interfere with farming processes,” he said.

He advised the bandits to surrender themselves and their weapons for their own good.

Abubakar said that the Nigeria Air Force has deployed 500 Special Forces to fight against banditry, kidnapping and other forms of crimes in the North central and North west zones of the country.

He said that NAF would continue to deploy serviceable aircrafts, surveillance aircrafts, gunship helicopters and aviation fuel to enable the air officers and men effectively fight the criminal elements.

Abubakar further said that the NAF has recorded 82 per cent success on serviceable operations of its aircrafts despite COVID-19 pandemic.

He therefore urged Nigerians to have confidence in NAF and give them intelligence information that would assist to achieve success in the fight against criminals.

“Security is not only a military affair, but is for all and sundry. Give intelligence information to NAF, Nigerian Army, police and other security agents about activities of bandits and other criminals.

“We will continue to work together with Nigerian Army and other security agencies to fight insurgency,” he said.

Earlier, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, AVM Charles Ohwo, spoke at length on their operations in the North Central and North West zones of the country.

He told the Chief of Air Staff that Operation Gama Aiki, Operation Thunder Strike and Operation Hadarin Daji, were introduced to tackle insurgency in those parts of the country.

Ohwo said that the NAF aircrafts involved in the operations so far covered about 1,400 flying hours covering areas in Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States.

He said that the major challenges they were encountering are poor whether conditions and lack of hanger space.


Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Lawmaker lauds FG, Sokoto State over response to Sabon Birni banditry attack 

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Alhaji Aminu Boza, a lawmaker representing Sabon Birni North at the Sokoto State House of Assembly has lauded the Federal Government for its quick response to banditry attack in his constituency.
Boza said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Sokoto on Thursday.
He
also commended the state government’s response to the attack, describing it as encouraging.
Today as I speak with you, we have noticed a lot of commitment by security agencies in addressing the security challenges bedeviling the eastern zone of Sokoto.
“We
experienced heinous activities by bandits that crippled our social and economic lives and has led to the loss of hundreds of lives and property worth billions of naira.
“However, the bloodiest attack happened on May 27, where more than 70 people were killed during bandits’ attacks across the eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the zone.
Presently, I am at  ease seeing the security formation in the area as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
The lawmaker appreciated Gov. Aminu Tambuwal for his dedication toward uplifting the living condition of the people in the affected areas.
He urge people to sustain  prayers toward addressing the ugly situation and continue to remain vigilant and report suspicious movements to relevant security agencies.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Banditry: Sultan seeks recruitment, funding of security agencies

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has urged the federal government to recruit more personnel and properly fund security agencies to tackle insecurity in the country.

Abubakar made the call on Saturday while receiving the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar in his place in Sokoto.

The Sultan decried the increased cases of banditry, kidnapping and other security challenges leading wanton loss of lives and properties.

The Sultan expressed concern with the recent killings of 74 persons in Sabon Birni in Sokoto State and called for more measures to end the menace.

He also appealed to the federal government to provide law enforcement agencies with modern gadgets to promptly track down the criminals.

He advised the security agencies to strengthen their coordination and synergy for a more efficient result, adding that government response would improve citizens’ hope on security.

The Chief of Air Staff said he was in Sokoto to assess the situation and scale up operations in the area.

Abubakar said the visit was also to introduce more suitable security techniques to end the security challenges in the area.

He said the operations against banditry and insurgency were going on in Katsina and Sokoto states as directed by the President.

He underscored the importance of residents volunteering intelligence information to security agents for the success of the fight against banditry and other challenges in the area.

Meanwhile, the Air Chief met with Gov. Aminu Tambuwal behind closed doors at Government House as well as held a meeting with heads security personnel.

He was briefed on the situations in the affected areas and also inspected facilities at the Sultan Abubakar International Airport Sokoto.

Edited By: Shuaib Sadiq/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Defence/Security

El-Rufai decries spate of banditry in Northwest

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Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has expressed grief over the high spate of banditry in the Northwest.

El-Rufai told State House correspondents on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that his visit was to find a lasting solution to the problem.

He said, however, that Nigerian security agencies have been doing their best to contain the menace.

The Sokoto story only hit the headlines just a few days ago, but in Zamfara, in Kaduna, in Niger, in Katsina, this banditry has become a northwestern scourge and we have been battling it with the support of the military.

“We are very grateful to the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Army and in our own particular case, even the Navy has been holding fort Southern Kaduna.

“We have been dealing with this issue and our concern now is with the operations in Sokoto and Zamfara.

“Many of the bandits will move to Kaduna; this is part of the reasons I am here, I will be meeting with the Minister of Defense and the Service Chiefs to try to get more military activities, some operations to be strengthened.’’

El-Rufai said that banditry would affect agriculture unless it was dealt with.

He said that the Chief of Air Staff had assured him that whatever was needed to be done to wipe out the bandits and to enable farmers go to farm as the rains advanced would be done.

“ We are confident that things will get better. It is most unfortunate that we have had to deal with it in the Northwest in the same way that Boko Haram ravaged the Northeast.

“These bandits are also becoming a serious problem in the northwest; but the problem is being addressed.’’

On COVID-19 pandemic, he said that the state’s team was working very hard not to let the people down as he was very proud of the quality of the people in the team.

He said that when he was isolated for 26 days, the business of government in Kaduna State did not stop.

The governor said he was proud of the deputy governor and the work that she had done with the team.

He said that the situation was the same all over the country as all the states are all dealing with very difficult situation.

“The economy is going to go into depression; there is nothing we can do about that; revenues have collapsed; yet you still have to invest in more public health facilities.

“You have to invest in treatment; you have to invest in security and so on.

“So, it is a very difficult time to be in a leadership position and that is why the people and the leaders must all work together and for the Almighty God to end this pandemic.

“It is a major problem, but we are working together; we are a resilient nation and I am sure we will overcome,’’ he said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Banditry: Gov. Tambuwal updates President Buhari on Sabon Birni massacre

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was at the instance of the governor.

Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Tambuwal said he was in the presidential villa to update the president on the security situation in Sokoto state.

He said that he also demanded from the President more military intervention to check the activities of bandits in the state.

The governor disclosed that he solicited for logistics and support for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.

“I requested to see the president yesterday (Thursday) and he granted me audience today.

“I have seen him, briefed him on the security situation in Sokoto state in particular; the security situation in Sokoto Eastern Senatorial District and of very special concern, Sabon Birni Local Government Area of the state.

“Apart from the previous attacks, only two days ago through banditry attacks we lost about 74 people in a very heinous and dastardly act of aggression from the bandits.

“I have briefed Mr President on the general situation and the need for support that we require.

When I said `we’ in this case I meant the security personnel that are there in Sokoto working day and night in synergy with each other to ensure that they maintain peace and order in the state.’’

Tambuwal expressed satisfaction with the president’s response so far in addressing the menace of bandits in the state.

He revealed that governors of the North western states including Niger state (North Central) had agreed to jointly address the problem of insecurity in the region.

On COVID-19, the governor revealed that Sokoto state had so far recorded 116 cases, 14 deaths, over 90 had recovered from the virus while only eight were remaining at the State’s Isolation Centres.

“We are working hard, the task force is doing very well; the medical team in the state is doing very well and the public response to mobilization and awareness is paying up,’’ he added.

NAN reports that President Buhari had earlier today met behind closed doors with Gov. Nasiru el-Rufa’I of Kaduna State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Defence/Security

NEMA distributes relief materials to 478 victims of banditry in Sokoto

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has distributed relief materials to 478 people who were attacked by bandits in Wurno and Raba Local Government Areas of Sokoto State.

Dr Kofoworola Soleye, Head of NEMA, Sokoto Zonal office, said at the distribution ceremony on Friday, that the gesture was facilitated by the member representing Wurno/Raba Federal Constituency, Ibrahim Almustapha.

Soleye said Almustapha forwarded the request to support the people and the Federal Government approved it.

Represented by the NEMA Zonal Planning Officer, Mr Tukur Abubakar, Soleye said the items included 350 bags of 12.5 kg of rice and millet, 20 kegs of palm oil, 60 cartons of bath soap and 100 cartons of detergents.

Others are 800 pieces of blankets, plastic buckets, guinea brocade and wax prints each along with 500 pieces of children’s wear and 349 pieces of mosquito nets.

He said the building materials comprised of 300 bags of cements, 300 pieces of ceiling boards, 300 bundles of roofing sheets, 150 packets of Zink nails and 80 bags 3’’ nails.

Soleye noted that the distribution was sequel to the approval by NEMA Director-General, AVM Mohammed Mohammed, as approved by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajia Sadiya Umar and President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking at the event, Alhaji Shehu Chacho, who represented Almustapha, said the gesture was part of efforts in the series of assistance packages being distributed to victims and commended President Buhari for prompt response.

Chacho said the lawmaker had through personal assistance, facilitated government support to the victims, noting that about 3,000 persons were affected in 26 communities within the constituency.

The distribution committee Chairman, Malam Umar Ahmadu-Raba, said the committee screened 478 beneficiaries who were directly affected by banditry activities in the two local government areas.

The District Heads of Wurno and Raba Local Government Areas, Alhaji Kabiru Alhassan and Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, commended the Federal Government and the lawmaker for the efforts and expressed optimism that the gesture would cushion their hardship.

Some of the beneficiaries, Malam Hussani Ara and Bala Ibrahim, appreciated the gesture, adding that the bandits killed many people in the area.

According to them, they lost about 60 cows along with other valuables to the bandits.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Sadiya Hamza (NAN) 

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Defence/Security

Air Chief holds strategic meeting with commanders over banditry in North-west

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The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, has warned bandits operating in the country to embrace peace and hand themselves over or be ready for the consequences.

Abubakar gave the warning during operational visit and strategic meeting with instructor pilots at NAF Base Kaduna on Wednesday.

“It’s either they stop killing innocent citizens and hand themselves over, or we deal with them in such a way that there will not be someone to kill anybody again,” he added.

The Air Chief restated his commitment to synergizing with other security agencies with a view to containing security challenges across the country.

He explained that the meeting was to appraise the level of support of the force to the war against criminal elements  in the North-West and North-Central, operational challenges and new strategies to eliminate the bandits.

The AIr Chief said the meeting would also assess the air interdiction missions that the force is conducting to soften the ground sufficiently for ground operation troops to move with little or no challenges.

He said  that the NAF would continue to support ground troops, not only in Katsina and Zamfara, but also in Kaduna and Niger States to ensure total success of the operation.

“I have been briefed of the support the Air force is giving.

I have asked them to identify challenges that need to be addressed.

“So that we will be more effective in ensuring that we give all the support the ground troops require to ensure that we eliminate this problem once and for all.

“Our farmers need to go back to their farms and farm,” he stressed.

Abubakar expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far, adding that he had identified a couple of areas where the force would improve upon for effective service delivery.

He commended frontline troops for their doggedness in the fight against banditry and terrorism, and pledged the continued support and cooperation of the force in their operations.

Abubakar appealed to the public to provide useful information to the force that would ensure the success of its operations.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the General Officer, Commanding 1 Division Nigeria Army, was part of the strategic meeting.

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Banditry: FG to establish mobile police base in Sokoto 

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Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Wednesday announced Federal Government’s plan to establish a Mobile Police Squadron Base in Isa and Sabonbirni Local Government Areas of the state.

Tambuwal, who made the disclosure at a community stakeholders meeting in Sabonbirni, said that there would be partnership between the state and Federal Government in addressing the state’s insecurity challenges.

According to him, community groups, legislative members, local government authorities, religious and traditional institutions are currently involved in addressing the state’s security challenges.

Tambuwal, however, warned leaders in the state against politicizing security matters in the state.

“We must not play politics with matters of health and development.

The Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, who belongs to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was informed on the processes aimed at nipping in the bud activities of the bandits in the areas, ” he said.

Tambuwal said that stakeholders had refuted the allegation that some soldiers from Niger Republic had been deployed to the state’s border communities to  checkmate activities of bandits in the areas.

”I personally confirmed the spuriousness of the claim after consulting a broad spectrum of stakeholders from the area and the security chiefs in the state.

”There was no time that we received confirmed reports of Nigerien forces straying into an inch or any part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the guise of coming to salvage the people of Nigeria from armed bandits in Sokoto State,” he  said.

The governor expressed concern over acts of banditry in the area that had led to killings and kidnappings of people.

He thanked the stakeholders for their support, cooperation and understanding to contain insecurity situations in the area.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that various stakeholders have refuted the claim that Nigerien forces were salvaging Nigerians in the restive areas.

NAN reports that Tambuwal led a high-powered delegation of the security chiefs in the state, comprising of the State’s Police Commissioner, Alhaji Ibrahim Ka’oje, State Director of Department of State Security (DSS), Alhaji Ibrahim Sallama to the area

Others were the Garrison Commander, Gen. G. A. Gara and Group Capt. M. A. Bello of the Nigerian Airforce.

Edited /Wale Ojetimi

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General news

PDP hails FG over successes against banditry, other crimes in Zamfara 

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The Zamfara chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday, expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against banditry and other crimes in the state.

This was contained in a statement signed by the party’s State Secretary, Alhaji Hashimu Modomowa, and made available to newsmen in Gusau.

The party dissociated itself with the recent remarks by the state Commissioner for Rural Development and Cooperative, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi, in which he accused the federal government of paying more attention to COVID-19 than banditry.

Modomowa said that the commissioner’s utterances were capable of setting the state and federal government on a collision course.

According to him, the federal government has done fairly well in fighting banditry and other crimes in the state.

“This includes the establishment of 1 Brigade of Nigeria Army, 207 Quick Response Group of the Nigeria Airforce and Joint Task Force (JTF) under Operation Hadarin Daji”, he said.

Modomowa also appreciated the federal government for granting the request of Zamfara government in reviving mining activities in the state.

He said this would go a long way in reducing crime by providing job opportunities to the teaming youths of the state.

The PDP secretary stressed that the government and people of the state would continue to appreciate the federal government’s commitment in containing armed banditry and menace of COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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