Bandits Kill 213, Kidnap 676 Persons in Four Months in Katsina

*Ortom mourns 43 people killed in Sokoto
*Police confirm another attack in Sabon Birni, say nine killed

Francis Sardauna in Katsina, George Okoh in Makurdi and Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto

The Katsina State government, yesterday, said bandits had killed no fewer than 213 persons and kidnapped 676 others across local government areas of the state between July and October 2021.

The government, however, added that some 724 suspected bandits and other criminals terrorising communities in the state were arrested by security agencies within the period.

In a related development, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has commiserated with hisSokoto State counterpart, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, over the massacre of 43 people in Goronyo and Illela Local Government Areas of Sokoto State on Sunday and Monday by bandits.

Consequently, the Sokoto Police Command has confirmed the attack on three villages in Sabon Birni local government area by suspected bandits.
However, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, spoke about the situation in Katsina while briefing journalists on the progress report of the security challenges containment orders recently signed by Governor Aminu Bello Masari to tackle banditry in the state.

He explained that 296 suspects were under prosecution and 75 others were under investigation by different security agencies in the state.

Inuwa said: “On the whole, the statistics with regards to banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling from the commencement of the containment order to date has revealed a drastic reduction in the number of reported cases.
“For instance, for the period of July/August 2021, there were a total of 173 reported kidnap incidents affecting 475 persons; whereas for September/October 2021, 61 kidnap incidents occurred with 201 victims.

“Banditry cases for the same corresponding periods were 97 incidents for July/August, 2021 with 130 deaths and 57 injured and 56 incidents for September/October 2021 with 83 deaths and 58 injured.”

According to him, “480 suspects were arrested between March to September 2021; 42 under investigation and 216 under prosecution. From September to date, on the other hand, 244 suspects were arrested; 33 under investigation and 80 were under prosecution.”

While describing the security containment order as a child of necessity, Inuwa said government’s effort towards curtailing security challenges in the state was not aimed at bringing hardship to the citizenry but to curb the menace.
Meanwhile, from Benue State, a press statement by Ortom’s Press Secretary, Mr Nath Ikyur, Thursday, quoted the governor of recalling with pains, how just in October this year, more than 40 people were gruesomely massacred at another market in Goronyo Local Government Area by the same bandits.

He says the boldness being exhibited by the terrorists from state to state across the country was a clear indication that the nation was in grave danger and stood the risk of losing out its territorial integrity to terrorists, whose sole agenda was to conquer Nigeria.

The governor lamented the atrocities of the terrorists, who were invading communities unhindered with unprovoked attacks and said the development was threatening the unity of Nigeria and weakening the faith of the citizens in government.

He called on all patriotic Nigerians to join hands with the government to condemn the mindless acts against innocent Nigerians, who were already weighed down by the harsh economic policies of the APC-led federal government.
“Security agencies should not to be deterred by the challenges they face in fighting to protect the sovereignty of the nation but to go all out to uproot the terrorists from the shores of Nigeria,” Ortom said.

However, Sokoto’s Police Command Public Relations Officer, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Abubakar Sanusi, said nine persons were killed in the separate attacks that took place between 15th, 16th, and 17th of November 2021.
He said the first attack, which took place at Garin Zago in Sabon Birni local government, resulted in the death of three persons, while three others were kidnapped.

Sanusi said another which happened on November 16, a vehicle was attacked in Gaji village but no casualty was recorded.
The police spokesman further disclosed that another attack took place on November 17, 2021, at Sangirawa village, where six persons were killed by the assailants and several others injured.

He said, based on the findings of the police personnel on ground in the local government, the three attacks resulted in the death of nine persons, contrary to the figures being circulated by different sources.
A month ago, bandits attacked a military base at Bukursuma in Sabon Birni, killing 15 soldiers , three police men, and two civil defence officers.

This recent attack, however, came few days after bandits attacked Illela and Goronyo communities, leaving 43 people dead.
Sabon Birni is located at Eastern Senatorial district of Sokoto and has been an epicenter of banditry.

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