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Presidential advance team didn’t fight bandits during ambush – Villagers

Fresh information coming from some residents of the Katsina villages around which the presidential advance team was ambushed on Tuesday indicated that security agents in…

Fresh information coming from some residents of the Katsina villages around which the presidential advance team was ambushed on Tuesday indicated that security agents in the convoy did not exchange fire with the terrorists; hence the assailants escaped unhurt.

An eyewitness told Daily Trust that the attackers had invaded one village called Buturkai where they dispersed the residents, forcing them to relocate to Turare village where the attack occurred, and some of them to Shandai, a grazing reserve area.

He said that happened before the arrival of the advance team.

“At Buturkai, the bandits killed three persons and went to Dogon Ruwa village where they killed two people, broke into so many shops and carted away valuables before proceeding to Marke village where they rustled some animals,” he said.

He said when the advance team arrived Turare and discovered what was going on, they parked their vehicles at the LEA Primary School in the village for some time, made some enquiries and when it was clear that the bandits had covered some distance, they continued with their journey, while shooting sporadically into the air until they passed the danger zone.

A resident of Marke, where the bandits were at the time the team arrived, also said, “It was after the bandits had left our village that the long convoy of the security personnel (advance team) passed, shooting into the air.

“From our understanding, it was the same group of bandits that killed the area commander around Zakka area that passed through Kwanar Dutse to Kunamawar Mai Awaki where they killed two people, then Kunamwa Babba, they killed two people also, one of whom was the husband of my sister-in-law,” he said.

He added that the same bandits proceeded to Unguwar Gurbai where they killed six people and then Doguwar Dankwambo where they killed two people and Unguwar Ido village where they also killed six people.

Meanwhile, residents of Kunkunni village said a fighter jet dropped a bomb, killing two people and injuring several others around 11pm on Tuesday.

“The bandits passed by the southern part of the village with their herds of animals, but later we saw a bright light in the sky followed by a very thunderous sound. Later we discovered that two people had died and some injured.

“As I am talking to you, I just returned from the General Hospital Dutsinma and I left nine people in a critical condition at the emergency section of the hospital,” the resident said.

It was gathered that several others from Safana Local Government Area injured by the bandits during the Tuesday attacks were also at the general hospital.

Confirming the incidents, member representing Safana in the Katsina State House of Assembly, Abduljalal Haruna Runka, said a military fighter jet mistakenly dropped a bomb on Kunkunna village, where 14 people were injured.

“Yes, it was the Airforce fighter jet that dropped the bomb, and 14 people were injured. Eight were referred to the Federal Teaching Hospital Katsina due to their critical condition but a woman has died among them, while the remaining six are still at the general hospital Dutsinma,” he added.

 The Lawmaker said the bandits were in Kwanar Dutse for two days and it was the same group that attacked the presidential advance team.

 He added that at least 12 persons were killed in different villages during the bandits’ rampage in the area.

Tambuwal, Akeredolu condemn attack 

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State and his Ondo State counterpart, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, have condemned the attack on the presidential convoy in Katsina State.

Speaking yesterday after swearing in eight new commissioners, Tambuwal urged Nigerians to keep politics aside and join hands to eliminate banditry from the country.

He said, “These people (bandits) represent evils and should be treated like evils. The issue of security is not for Mr President alone. It is something that requires the support and commitment of every Nigerian irrespective of religious, tribal or political differences.”

Similarly, the Ondo State governor described the attack as daring, saying the country’s security challenge had gone from bad to worse.

He noted that the call for the establishment of state police was not for self-aggrandisement but a reality of the time.

He spoke yesterday while playing host to his former school mates, the 1968/1972 set of Loyola College, Ibadan, in his office in Akure.

He said, “We, governors in the South West, met and we are still more than convinced that there is no solution other than state police. The truth is that we will be prepared to protect ourselves and die in the process more than other people from outside. We can only protect ourselves better.

“We will be more committed to protecting ourselves. By the time we have state police, we will be encouraged to recruit people in a local government to work in that local government as security.”


From Tijjani Ibrahim (Katsina), Abubakar Auwal (Sokoto) & Bola Ojuola (Akure)

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