Many security breaches were recorded in different parts of Nigeria between Monday and Wednesday, heightening fears that criminals are trying to reverse some of the recent successes recorded by law enforcement agents.
Stories of kidnappings and assassinations dominated the media space yesterday as palpable fear of the unknown forced some people and institutions to have a change of plan ahead of the Sallah festivities.
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This was after a noticeable “relief” in the aftermath of various criminal activities that subsided following a clampdown and arrests of many bandits, kidnappers and secessionists by Nigerian security forces.
First-class monarch kidnapped in Kogi
A first-class traditional ruler, the Adogu of Eganyi in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State, Alhaji Mohammed Adembe was yesterday kidnapped by gunmen.
He was kidnapped Tuesday evening by yet to be identified abductors along Okene – Adogo road.
A source who spoke to journalists on the phone said that the royal father was alone in his car when he was abducted between Ebiya and Eganyi around 5.30 pm.
He said the kidnappers established contact with the family of the monarch around 1 pm on Wednesday and demanded a ransom of N30m.
Spokesman for the Kogi State Police Command, William Ayah, who confirmed the incident, said a special squad had been deployed to trail the abductors.
He said that the gunmen took advantage of the bad spots on the road to kidnap the traditional ruler.
“His car slowed down at one of the potholes on the road; the gunmen emerged from a nearby bush and started shooting sporadically into the air, thereby forcing him to a stop.”
He called on the general public to assist the police with useful information to enable security agents to rescue the royal father from the clutches of his kidnappers.
3 policemen, football chair, manager shot dead by IPOB in Anambra
Three policemen and two officials of a football club have been killed by members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militia arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The Chairman of Udala Football Club FC in Anambra State, Chief Philip Udala met his untimely death when his convoy ran into a team of the armed gunmen at Eke-Agu Market junction in Abatete, Idemili North Local Area.
Also, the manager of the club and Secretary of Anambra Independent League (AIFL), Godsent Eriobu, who was in the convoy was equally shot and killed by the attackers.
The gunmen had reportedly attacked a local police station where they killed three operatives.
It was while they were fleeing the scene that they met the convoy of Udala in Abatete.
During the attack on the police station, two civilians were also killed, witnesses said.
Chairman of AIFL, Rev. Fr. Obinna Dike who confirmed the death of the two football officials said the amateur league had lost two important members of the football family.
“So sad, our worst fears are becoming reality, we lost them. May their soul rest in peace,” he said.
Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra State, Tochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed the incident said the information at their disposal was still sketchy.
Daily Trust reports that the ESN had launched multiple attacks on security formation, infrastructure and personnel across the South-East in the last few months.
They also destroyed many INEC offices and other symbols of authority. The attacks, however, ceased after IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu was arrested in Kenya and extradited to Nigeria.
But there appears to be a resurgence of attacks in the last few days.
…Cult group kills 3
Also in Anambra, three persons were gunned down in Awka by a suspected cult group.
The victims were killed in Ifite, Awka South Local Government Area around noon on Wednesday.
Witnesses said the three suspected cult members operated in a tricycle and shot repeatedly at the popular Aroma junction unchallenged for about 20 minutes.
It was learnt that after the shooting, which scared people away, the cultists headed to their destination where they killed three of their victims.
Confirming the incident, Police spokesman, Ikenga Tochukwu said operatives from the command were chasing the assailants.
He said investigations were ongoing, adding no arrest had been made on the matter by the command.
2 soldiers killed by IPOB in Enugu
Operatives of IPOB’s security network have killed two soldiers in Enugu on Tuesday.
The soldiers were killed at a checkpoint in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
Army spokesman, Onyema Nwachukwu said ESN members had engaged the troops in a gun duel which led to the death of the soldiers.
“Nigerian Army troops deployed to checkmate the activities of gunmen at Adani community of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, yesterday, 13 July 2021, repelled Eastern Security Network gun attack on troops’ location at Iggah/Asaba checkpoint,” he said.
“Sadly, during the firefight that ensued, two soldiers paid the supreme price. Troops are currently on the trail of the criminals.
“We assure the general public of our commitment to provide adequate security in the general area in collaboration with other security agencies,” he said.
Businessman killed in botched kidnap in Bauchi
In Bauchi State, gunmen suspected to be kidnappers on Tuesday shot dead a businessman, Tasiu Tilde.
Sources said the gunmen killed the 40-year-old businessman when they attempted to kidnap him in his hometown of Tilden Fulani, near Jos.
“He was in his pharmacy when the assailants attacked him,” one of the sources said.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Bauchi State Command, Ahmed Wakil, confirmed the incident on Wednesday.
He said that the incident happened in the evening of Tuesday when the gunmen, whose mission was to kidnap, stormed the village shooting indiscriminately to scare people away.
“A Good Samaritan put a distress call through to our patrol team in the area, they immediately mobilised to the scene of the incident, but before they got there, the suspected kidnappers had fled, leaving their victim in a pool of his blood.
“The patrol team immediately evacuated him to the nearest Toro General Hospital where, on arrival, a medical doctor on duty certified him dead.
“Investigation is ongoing to apprehend the suspects,” he said.
Locals in Tilden Fulani said there was another attempt at Tudun Danbiram, at about 1 am when the kidnappers forced themselves into the compound of a resident trying to gain entrance into the main room.
“A distress call was made and a police task force was immediately drafted to the area,” one of the sources, Abba Tilde, said.
“Our town is under siege now because kidnappers are increasing by the day. They are mostly young people who believe they can make a fortune from it with ease.
“They have no respect for life because they can kill at the slightest provocation. We need serious intervention,” he said.
No Sallah festivities in Katsina, Daura
As part of measures to mitigate security threats, the Katsina and Daura emirate councils have suspended public activities for the forthcoming Eid-el-Kabir.
The emirate councils said there would be no Durbar (public display by horse riders) at the palace of the Emir of Katsina, Dr Abdulmumin Usman; and that of the Emir of Daura, Faruk Umar.
Instead, the two emirates councils called on residents to dedicate the festive period for prayers. The spokesman for the Katsina Emirate Council, Iro Bindawa, confirmed the development on Wednesday.
He said, “Yes, the emirate council has suspended activities concerning Durbar during the Sallah, but his eminence has implored residents to seize the Sallah period in offering prayers for the state and for Nigeria.”
The decision of the Daura Emirate Council on the suspension of public activities during the Sallah was contained in a letter addressed to the emirate council members and the emir’s advisers.
The letter was signed by Danejin Daura, Abdulmumini Salihu, on behalf of the secretary of the council.
The letter called for prayers for sustainable peace in the state immediately after the Eid prayers on Sallah day.
In May, the Emir of Daura, Dr Farouk Umar Farouk had also suspended activities marking the end of the Ramadan fast in the emirate council, citing security reasons.
Katsina had in recent times experienced series of security problems occasioned by kidnappings.
Security threats becoming more violent, says Osinbajo
Security threats are becoming more violent, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
He said the threats had necessitated the need for effective sub-regional collaboration on early warning systems.
The vice president said this soon after Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism.
This was disclosed in a statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the vice president signed for Nigeria while President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou, signed on behalf of the regional body on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The MoU consolidated discussions by the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government at its 45th Ordinary Session in Accra, Ghana, in July 2014, which endorsed the establishment of the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism in member states.
“I don’t think there is a better time for this process than now, which will lead to full implementation of the Early Warning and Response System.
“We are at a time nationally, and sub-regionally, where the security threats that confront us are becoming more violent, they are asymmetric, spread faster than before, and they are cross border in their nature.
“There is no question at all that this is the moment when we really should be looking at how to collaborate in real-time and in increasingly more imaginative ways in sharing information, and also in sharing competence in order to confront our security challenges,’’ Osinbajo was quoted as saying.
He commended the regional body for its foresight in the design of the regional warning system.
Also in his remarks, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Brou said the signing of the MoU reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to promoting peace and security in West Africa. He said that the regional early warning mechanism was set up by the ECOWAS 1999 protocol for conflict prevention, management, resolution, peacekeeping and security.
He said that it was also to support the region in anticipating, mitigating and responding to challenges of human security.
“In order to support member states in strengthening their capacity in preventing human security challenges, the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in 2014 signed a supplementary Act.
“Adopting the policy framework on the establishment of national early warnings, and rapid response mechanism,” he said.
From Adama John (Lokoja), Hassan Ibrahim (Bauchi), Muideen Olaniyi (Abuja), Titus Eleweke (Awka) & Tijjani Ibrahim (Katsina)