Terrorism : Nigeria In A State Of War, Katsina Emirate Council Cancels  Eid  Royal Exhibition Festival

By Suleiman Umaru

 When Mohammed Bazoun, Niger Republic President revealed that the Bandits which had entered the country through Madawa and Dutsin  regions and subsequently spread into Nigeria though the Mahradi region , past and past government officials had laughed over it. Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara state who is feeling the pinch of the activities of the Bandits was said to have repeatedly drawn the attention of  President Muhammadu Buhari and the security  Chiefs the Bandits have virtually  taken over the forests in the state and the  need to  take a drastic action against them  to make the forest uncomfortable for them to operate in the state , let alone  spread to other states.

Mohammed Gandunje, governor of Kano state had collaborated Matawalle claims and the need  for the Katsina born Nigerian President to  mobilise his security and intelligence Chiefs to intervene to bring the situation under control but that  was how far he could go.  Abubakar Sani, governor of Niger, home state of Ibrahim Babangida , a retired AArmy General and former military President, had said that the Bandits  were Fulanis , without any clear Leader  directing their operations, meaning that they were recruited from different parts of the SAHEL region. Mention are being made made that most of the Bandits who are terrorising the north west states of Namfara , Kaduna, Sokoto and Katsina , Buhari home state , including Niger state are from Libya, home of terrorism in the African Continent,  Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Tchad, and Central African country of Cameroon , including Sudan and Turkey.

The Bandits, who appear to be collaborating with the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, and armed Fulani herdsmen,  according to security analysts  have turned Nigerian into a theatre of war.  From Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina, Niger, Borno and Yobe, the story is the same: War, War, war. There have been pressure on  the Nigerian President from different quarters to declare a state of  emergency in the country to deal decisively with the north states geopolitical region Bandits and the north east terrorists  but he may not have considered it necessary to do for now.

The recent ambush and attack  of soldiers  going on  a rescue mission  to a mining site located at Ajata Aboki Gurmana Ward of Shiroro Local Government Area  of Niger state and  a convoy of vehicles carrying  an advance Team of  security guards, protocol and state House Correspondents,  ahead of Buhari’s  trip to Daura, his home town in Katsina state  to celebrate the  near Dutsinma, described as a flashpoint of the Bandits operation in Katsina stae state  speaks volume.

Garba Shehu, a senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity had said that the Bandits who emerged from their  ambush position  and opened fire on the Presidential advance Team to Daura, the President’s home  but were successfully repelled  by operatives  of the military,  police and the Department of State Services, DSS. He had said that  two persons in the convoy sustained bullet wounds during the gun duel  and are currently receiving  while all other members  made it safely to the President’s home town.

An Area Commander of the Katsina police  Command and one other  officer,  were said to have been killed  following a shootout with Bandits during clearance Operations last Tuesday in the state . Aminu Umar,  an Assistant Commissioner of Police overseeing  the Dutsinma  Area Command, and other officers  may have taken the bold initiative to carry out  an Operation  in an area where the Bandits  held sway but were attacked by the  Bandits. The Bandits were said to have opened fire  on the  Area Command and his officers when they sighted them from afar and a gun battle ensued, killing the Commander and one of his officers in the process.

Note that the attack on the convoy of vehicles carrying advance  Team of security guards , Protocols Media and DSS, personnel, heading to the Nigerian President home town, Daura, near Dutsinma,  may have sent a signal to the Katsina Emirate Council  that all that is not well. This may have informed why the Katsina Emirate Council, had cancelled  the usual ” Eid-ul-Adha royal exhibition of  garments and regalia  that features horse riding at such   Festivals”.

Usman: Emir Of katsina

 A Statement that was signed by Sule  Mamman Dee, an Assistant Secretary in the Katsina Emirate Council, said Prayers  which would be led by Abumumini Kabir Usman, the Emir of Katsina in the Mosque  and other Mosques across the state  to expose all perpetrators of evil  in the state and Nigeria IN general.

  Back to the AJata Aboki, in Shiroro LGA, ambush and attack on soldiers  by the Bandits on Wednesday , June 29, 2022, where about 32 soldiers and a good number of civilians were said to  have been killed and some Chinese kidnapped.

Farouk Yahaya, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, CoAS, had said that the soldiers  who had responded  to a distress call at the Ajata Aboki mining site  in Shiroro LGA, had the option  to retreat when information filtered out about the Bandits ambush for them  but they braved the odds to proceed to the mining site to rescue the miners. The Army General  aid  the soldiers on the rescue mission to the Aja Aboki mining site’’ fought gallantly  and showed courage’’. Angered by the continued ambush and attack on soldiers carrying out their legitimate duties across the country, the Army Chief may have taken advantage of the 2022 Nigerian Army Day celebration in Owerri, Capital of Imo state,  to  vow  that ‘’all Bandits  and terrorists   would not go  scot-free as they  would be made to pay  for their atrocities in order  to bring back peace in the country’’.

He was said too have also spoken about efforts  being made by  the Army in rescuing  the remaining  of the 64 Kidnap victims  of the Abuja-Kaduna  train abduction  by the Bandits in collaboration with Ansaru Terrorists Group, A militant breakway faction  from the Borno based BokoHaram and ISWAP. The Abuja-Kaduna passenger train was ambushed and  attacked on March 28, 2022 and 64 passengers abducted  and about eight others got bullet wounds. It may not have been easy for the L.Gen. Yahaya led Army in prosecuting the Banditry and Counter terrorism war in different parts of the country, particular, the north wet and north east as well as the  south east,  as he spoke about the challenges by the Army which include paucity of Funds .

Lt.Gen.Yahay: CoAS

Notwithstanding the challenges, the CoAS, had made it clear to the Commanders that he will not take any excuse for an answer if they fail to perform.  Appealing to the soldiers ‘’to desist from the use of misinformation, deceit and issues  capable of disintegrating the nation’’, stressing that’’ it is the only  way to sustain  the unity in Nigeria’s unique diversity’’.

While the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, under the close watch of Usman Akali Baba, are yet to overcome the shock of the Bandits ambush and attack of security operatives at Ajata Aboki minig site killing many including civilians and abducted some Chinese as well as  the attack on an advance convoy  of vehicles carrying security guards, DSS, personnel  and the press,  some gunmen may have takn advantage of the Sallah celebration where most of the security Chiefs  including the Nigerian President have travelled to  their  home towns to celebrate the Moslem  Festival to attck Kuje Correctional Centre  in Abuja, the Federal  Capital Territory, FCT.

A.D.Umar, Nigerian Correctional Service spokesperson said the situation may have been worse both not for the quick intervention of security agencies personnel to the centre, noting that ‘’normalcy had been restored’’. The attack on the Kuje Correctional centre on Tuesday, July 4, 2022, may have informed why security haven beefed up in all Federal Institutions at the FCT and other parts of the country to avoid a repeat of the Abuja incident.              

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