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Two injured as terrorists attack presidential convoy in Katsina

An advance team of President Muhammadu Buhari to Katsina State ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations was yesterday attacked by terrorists who have been terrorising people…

An advance team of President Muhammadu Buhari to Katsina State ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations was yesterday attacked by terrorists who have been terrorising people in the state and environs for long.

The convoy of cars carrying the advance team of security guards, protocol and media officers of the State House was attacked in Dutsinma, Katsina State yesterday evening.

Two persons were reportedly injured in the attack described by the presidency as an ambush.

The incident happened ahead of President Buhari’s expected visit to Daura, his hometown, tomorrow, for the Sallah celebration on Saturday.

Our correspondents report that the attack on the presidential team took place few hours after an assistant commissioner of police was killed in a separate attack around the same Dutsinma general area.

The presidential ambush

A source at the Presidential Villa said the convoy left the State House yesterday morning for Daura.

An eyewitness, who was nearly caught in the middle of the clash, said they were on their way back to Dutsinma from Kankara, when they saw hundreds of fully armed fighters crossing the road on motorcycles and they had to run for their safety.

He said the attackers engaged the security operatives attached to the presidential convoy in a fierce battle.

“We were travelling when we saw bandits crossing on motorcycles. We ran to Turare village and suddenly we sighted a long military convoy that came under the bandits’ attack.

“After a gun duel, the military operatives cleared the road and that was how they were able to reach Dutsinma,” the eyewitness said.

Another source in Turare village who pleaded for anonymity said after the soldiers cleared the road and moved on, the bandits regrouped and attacked some villages in Makera ward of Dutsinma LGA as well as some villages west of Zobe Dam where they carted many cows.

“They went to Makera, Kurechi, Dogon ruwa, Tashan mangwaro and other villages where they rustled cows. As we speak, some residents of these villages have relocated to Turare for fear of another attack,” he said.

A presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, who confirmed the attack on the presidential convoy, said two persons were injured.

In a statement titled, ‘gallant presidential guards repel attack on advance team of president’s visit’, the presidency described the attack as sad.

“The presidency has described as sad and unwelcome, the shooting incident near Dutsinma, Katsina State, at the convoy of cars carrying the advance team of security guards, protocol and media officers ahead of the President, Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to Daura for Sallah.

“The attackers opened fire on the convoy from ambush positions but were repelled by the military, police and DSS personnel accompanying the convoy.

“Two persons in the convoy are receiving treatment for the minor injuries they suffered. All the other personnel, staff and vehicles made it safely to Daura,” he said.

ACP, one other killed

Before the attack on the president’s convoy, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Aminu Umar, and one other officer were killed in a clash with bandits.

Daily Trust gathered that the clash took place at a village called Yauni in Zakka district, Safana LGA.

“Our vigilantes here told us that there will be a combined team of police and vigilantes from Kurfi heading to Yauni village to face bandits.

“Later we heard that there was a fatal clash and some police officers and some vigilantes were shot by the bandits, including two from Zakka here.

“However, about seven military vehicles have provided reinforcement and we later saw some police vehicles carrying some bodies that I could not identify because I was not close to them,” a resident told Daily Trust.

Police spokesperson in the state, SP Gambo Isah, in a statement yesterday, said Umar and his team were ambushed by the bandits while on a clearance operation in Zakka forest.

He said: “Today July 5, 2022, at about 1130hrs, a distress call was received that terrorists numbering over 300, on motorcycles, shooting sporadically with AK 47 rifles and General-Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), ambushed ACP Aminu Umar, Area Commander, Dutsinma and his team, while on clearance operation of recalcitrant bandits/terrorists, in Zakka forest, Safana LGA of Katsina State.

“Consequently, the Area Commander and one other gallantly lost their lives during a cross-exchange of gunfire.”

Credible sources told the Daily Trust last night that the fighters were loyal to a bandits’ kingpin, Dankarami.

One of the sources said they blocked the Kankara-Dutsin- Ma- Katsina Road in broad daylight for many hours.

“They operated freely, attacking and abducting people,” he said.

“They also attacked Isa Kaita College of Education and the Low-Cost Housing Estate, forcing residents to flee,” he said.

It was learnt that the bandits were also celebrating and taunting the people that they have killed “the god of Dutsinma”.

It was learnt that the slain police officer was highly respected in Dutsinma and environs because of his bravery.

“He had led many operations that led to the killings and arrest of hundreds of bandits in the area. For now, the people are living in fear and are calling for more personnel to be deployed to avert imminent attacks,” he said.

Katsina, others under siege

Daily Trust reports that the entire North West geopolitical zone, comprising Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Jigawa and Zamfara states have been battling the menace of banditry.

Hundreds of people have been killed while many others have been kidnapped.  Many villages have been sacked by the bandits, forcing locals to resort to self-help.

Last week, the Zamfara State Government ordered the state commissioner of police to issue licenses of guns to interested persons as a new measure to curtail banditry in the state.

A security expert, Salihu Bakhari said what happened in Katsina yesterday was a disgrace to Nigeria.

“Katsina is where the president comes from and it is now under siege; this is the height of failure of this government.

“Nobody is safe and Nigeria is now a laughing stock because even those at the highest position of power are not safe,” he said.

“The president and his team must wake up from sleep to save lives…They should stop talking about politics and secure the people,” he said.

Terrorists attack Kuje correctional service 

The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Kuje in Abuja was under siege last night as terrorists attacked the facility.

Residents told Daily Trust that they heard gunshots and bomb explosions which caused panic in the town.

Kuje is about 20 minutes drive from the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

Although details of the attack were sketchy last night, it was gathered that the attackers and security agencies stationed on guard exchanged gunfire for the major part of the night.

The Public Relations Officer of the NCoS, Deputy Superintendent of Correction Humphrey Chukwuedo, confirmed the attack to Daily Trust.

He said it was launched by “external forces” and not a jailbreak attempt.

“We have mobilised all the security agencies including the military to the facility. Our men our resisting them from gaining entrance by repelling them from inside, the reinforcement will help to fight them from the rear,” Chukwuedo said.

The PRO could not give the casualty figure as of press time but said the situation was being put under control by security agencies.

Gunmen kill police inspector, abduct Chinese national in Kwara 

The Police Command in Kwara has confirmed the killing of police inspector, Adebayo Adeforiti, and abduction of a Chinese national by some gunmen at CGC construction company along Shao/Oloru Expressway on July 2 at about 16:15hrs.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Spokesman of the Command, SP Okasanmi Ajayi, on Tuesday in Ilorin.

“Some armed men suspected to be kidnappers invaded the premises of CGC construction company along Shao/Oloru Expressway, shot and killed Inspector Adebayo Adeforiti attached to PMF 15, Ilorin, who was on guard duty at the company, and abducted a  Chinese national working in the site and escaped into the bushes.

“The Commissioner of Police, Kwara State Police Command, CP Tuesday Assayomo, on receipt of the information, ordered an intense and discreet search, rescue and arrest operation into the matter with the deployment of the Command’s Tactical teams, vigilante and local hunters into the area for possible rescue and arrest of the perpetrators.”


By Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ismail Mudashir (Abuja) & Tijjani Ibrahim (Katsina)