The Value News

Katsina: Bandits Attack Too Many

 By Suleiman Umaru

Government Science Secondary School Attacked By Bandits In Kankara Local Govt Of Katsina state

 Usman Kankara Bello, a retired Comptroller of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, with the traditional title of the Kanwa Katsina and the  district Head  of Ketare  one of the districts ,in Kankara , local government  area of Katsina, home state  of President Muhammadu Buhari, is not a happy man.

 This is because of the frequent attacks on the Communities under the two districts of the   Kankara local government area by Bandits, described  as ‘’cowards by the Katsina  state born Nigerian President. There are two districts that made up the Kankara local government: Kankara and Ketare. The most recent of such bandit attacks in the  local government was on Friday, December 11, 2020 at Kankara district.

President Buhari On A Private Visist To Daura, His Home Town

 The armed  bandits who  may have taken advantage of the Nigerian  President  one week private visit to Daura, his home town , may have attacked a Government Science Secondary School   in Kankara district, perhaps to throw the whole state into confusion and make the President’s stay in Daura uncomfortable  in order to force him cut the his private  visit to his home town, short and return back to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, where he is saddled with state responsibilites.

Kakara, which is is about 125 miles to Daura town had been under constant bandit attacks in the recent time. The attack on the Kankara science secondary may  have encouraged Bello, the  district head of Ketare, of the two districts in the local government  to mobilise the village Heads under him to tighten up security in  his  district through improved  Community vigilance  to  ascertain the movement of people in and out of the district and report suspicious persons to the police for close monitoring.

The attack on the Kankara science secondary school, according to residents is coming on the heels of the Wednesday, December 9, 2020, attack  by the bandits in various Communities in the local government  and  Danmusa, another local government  area where they were said to have killed  16 persons. The successful attack in in various Communities in the two flashpoint local government areas in the state  may have given the bandits the audacity  to attack the Kankara science secondary school where they could easily kidnap  defenseless students and use them as thir bargaining power to ask for ransomed from the government. 

  There are indications that scores of students were abducted during the attack but some of the students on their own  volition  may have ran out from their hostel out of fear to the  neighbourhood  for safety. Gambo Isa, the Katsina state  Police Command spokesperson reportedly  said that ‘’ they were  working  with  the Army  and the Air Force personnel to determine  how many  of the students were kidnapped   by the bandits or missing and to find them’’.

  But the good news, according the state Police Command  spokesperson  was that the 200 students  who may have  ran out  for their safety  in the neighbourhood were said to have been found by the Kankara Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in the area and taken back to the school to continue their studies.

Marsari: Faced With Daunting Challnege of Bandits Attack

The Value News learnt that the headcount  in the government  Science  boarding school, Kankara, on Saturday, December, 12, 2020,  shows  that 54 students were missing but Bello Marsari,a former Speaker of House of Representatives and no governor of the state had said  it would be very difficult  to ascertain the number of students of the Kankara science secondary school that were kidnapped by the bandits for now.   

 The Magazine was informed that 884 students were in the school premises  at the time the bandits  struck. The bandits were said to have stormed the school with AK 47 rifles which may have made it difficult for the policemen  who were stationed  at the school to stop them from carrying out their operation in the school.

Eyewitness account said there was exchange of fire between the bandits and the policemen but were overpowered with the superior fire power of the bandits as one of the policemen was hit by the bandits bullet. He was quickly  taken  to  the  hospital by Colleagues , for treatment to avoid  endangering his life due to loss of blood.   The courageous policemen were said to have also killed one of the bandits.

 The attack on the Kankara  Science Secondary school by the gunmen, may have informed why  Masari,  the state governor    had ordered’’ the immediate  closure  of all boarding  secondary schools’’   to avoid giving  room to the bandits to target  another secondary school for attack.

Masari, who is pained by the attack on the Kankara  innocent science secondary  school students  by the armed bandits , in a bid to calm frayed nerves in the state  was said to have met  with some of  the parents of the students,  traditional  rulers, religious leaders and security officials  at the school,  promising that’’ the government  will do  everything within its capacity  to ensure that all the kidnapped students will  return safely to the school’’.

Garba Shehu, senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, may have given a cheering news to Nigerians when he said  that  the  military  has located  the hide out of the bandits  at Zango/Paula forest  at the  Kankara  local  government area.   He disclosed that the military   are in the process of   retrieving  the  abducted  students  amidst exchange of fire with the bandits in the operation but no student casualty had been recorded.

The Presidential spokesperson had said that going by  the latest brief   from Masari , the state governor, and Yusuf Buratai, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff,  to the Nigerian President,  the Army supported by  air power provided  by Abubakar Sadique, an Air Vice Marshall and Chief of Air staff’s men facilitated the location of the hide out of the bandits in the Zankara forest.

The Nigerian President  who is worried that the bandits  are now targeting  boarding schools in the state for attack was said to have directed the reinforcement   of all public schools  in line  with  ‘’the safe schools  policy of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC , government’ ’in the country.

Mohammed Adamu: IGP

Acting on the Presidential directive, Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police,  IGP,  was said to have deployed more policemen to Katsina state to support the ongoing  search  and rescue operations  for the abducted students. The additional policemen sent to the President’s  home state  were said to have been drawn  from the Police  Tactical Squads  and Crack detectives from the Force Intelligence Bureau. 

Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and the Force spokesperson , said they have  a mandate to  work closely  with  the military and other security agencies personnel   in the state in a Coordinated  efforts’’ aimed  at rescuing  the abducted students, hunting down the operators and bringing to book’’.

Recall that   Buhari, the Nigerian President had  been invited by the Femi Gbajabiamila led House of Representatives  to brief  them on the security situation of the country last week but it was said to have been cancelled by him  without any official explanation.  Prior to the cancellation of the visit, he was said to have agreed to appear before the Lawmakers  to address the security  situation of the country. That much was confirmed by Gbajabiamila, the House  Speaker after a private meeting with the President at the Villa to convey  the resolution of the House   and to fix a date  that he would appear before the House members.

The President may have gone back on his  words to appear before the Hose members because of the advice from legal experts in the party and his government, including Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General and minister of Justice.

 One of them,Daniel Bwala, a Lawyer and Chieftain of the ruling APC, whose  views  are well respected in the party circles , appearing  as a guest of the Arise Television, programme, on Thursday, December 10, 2020,   the very day, the President was expected  to appear in the House  had said that’’ the National Assembly  cannot summon   the President, stressing that the power to summon as provided in the 1999 Constitution as amended , ‘’is power to investigate , interrogate  and power to probe Corruption’’, insisting that ‘’it  is not within the power of the National Assembly to do so’’.

The APC,  Chieftain, who could not hide  his feelings had  said that  the House of Representatives, going by the Constitution , do not have the legal right  to summon the President  but they have the  Constitutional  right to invite the President ‘’in the spirit  of de Corps to  come and  address the nation  on matters of national security’’. The argument in political circles was that he may have cancelled appearing before the house members to  avoid  divulging official  national security matters, which Bwala, had said was baseless.

 This may have informed why many believed that the President had   cancelled appearing before the House members but proceeded to Daura, his home town on  a one-week private visit which was characterized  by Bandit atatcks in various Communities in two local government  areas in the state including  attack on   a science secondary schooks in Kankara, resulting in the kidnap of scores of students, who the military and policemen are still struggling to rescue.

UK. Bello: An Unhappy District Had Of Ketare Over Bandits Attack At Kanakara

It is instructive to note that before the bandits finally turned their weapon on Kankara local government, Communities in  Batsari local  government  were the most attacked by thebandits. Many believe that the bandits could easily cross over from the neighbouring  Benin  Republic, through the forest into the north west state border local government  Forests, which they use as a base to their attacks . This is where the Nigerian Preident may have to work on Mohammadou Issoufou, President of Niger and the outgoing Chairman of the Authority of Heads of States and Government of Economic Community of West African states, ECOWAS, to ensure that the security pact with the country was strictly enforced to curtail the activities of the bandits.  

Stephen Ubanna

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