• Gunmen kill 12 in Niger village
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and Laleye Dipo in Minna
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the country that security and law enforcement agencies are capable of safeguarding the country, its people and property.
However, gunmen have reportedly raided Ajapayi village in Kwaki district of Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State killing 12 people and injuring 15 others.
He was responding to concerns raised by a delegation of Zamfara Advocacy Group yesterday during an audience at the State House, Abuja.
The president, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said the military and the police have been taking drastic measures to check the activities of some local elements threatening the peace of the communities, including preventing farmers from going to their farms.
“I assure you, I get daily reports from people in the field and traditional rulers. I also meet regularly with the leadership of the security agencies, and they have been directed to deploy their personnel to secure the society,” President Buhari said.
Describing as “unfortunate” the “failure of local leadership in intelligence- gathering,” the President enjoined community and traditional leaders to monitor closely the activities of people in their domain with a view to assisting law enforcement agencies to secure the communities.
Commending the new governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, for being proactive in addressing the security challenges, the President urged royal fathers to go back to their cultural roles.
The delegation, which also included the wife of the governor of Kaduna State, Asia Mohammed Ahmed, and renowned journalist, Kadaria Ahmed, called for greater collaboration among stakeholders; securing the borders; and permanently situating a major military presence in the State, among other suggestions.
Meanwhile, gunmen on Sunday night raided Ajapayi village in Kwaki district of Shiroro LGA of Niger State, killing 12 people and injuring 15 others.
The incident was said to have started on Sunday evening and lasted several hours.
As a result several villagers have been displaced while the injured are said to be receiving treatment at government and private hospitals close to the community.
The senator representing Niger East senatorial district, Senator David Umaru who confirmed the incident to journalists in a statement issued yesterday evening, described the development as “a disaster.”
“I have been receiving distress calls from the area. I am very sad about the continued invasion of our communities and the waste of innocent lives with impunity while security appeared to be overwhelmed”.
Umaru asked the security agencies especially the police and military to deploy more personnel to the area to save the lives of “helpless villagers now living in perpetual fear of the unknown”.
The Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO) Niger State Police Command, DSP Muhammad Abubakar confirmed the incident, saying 15 people were injured in the attack but did not say the number of those that died.
Abubakar said that the gunmen were cattle rustlers who had rustled cows that “refused to move” adding that the hoodlums resorted to attacking anybody that came close believing they were coming to arrest them.
He explained that the incident occurred in Ajapayi via Kwaki village in Shiroro LGA, a very difficult terrain not accessible even with motorcycle.
He said that the police “are on top of the situation,” pointing out that “we are trailing the perpetrators and will surely arrest them and make them to face the wrath of the law”.
“The DPO (Divisional Police Officer) of the area has led a contingent of police men including mobile policemen to the area” he added