No fewer than 22 people have been reported killed in fresh attacks on communities in four villages of ZangonKataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State by yet to be identified gunmen.
The Tide gathered that, the gunmen launched what sources described as coordinated attacks on Apyia’Shyim, A’Piako, Atak’Mawei, and Kibori villages, all in Atyap Chiefdom of ZangonKataf.
Zango-Kataf is one of the recently troubled local government areas in the southern part of Kaduna State.
The situation had forced the state government to impose a 24-hour curfew since June 11.
A source told our correspondent that, the attackers operated unchallenged, having taken advantage of the all-night rain.
According to the source, “It rained all through the night in the area and the attackers had unchallenged operations from around 10 pm Wednesday which entered early hours of Thursday.
“By the time they were done, 22 corpses have so far recovered at about 12pm today (Thursday) while the search is still on. They also burnt several houses,” the source said.
A resident of Atak’mawei village in Zamandabo ward, IrimiyaGandu, said no fewer than 13 persons have been killed and many houses were burnt down in his community.
According to him, “around 1:00am, I was already asleep when I heard the sound of gunshots. I stepped out from our compound we could hear the sound of gunshots from Apia’akum Community and far Kibori village were already under attack. I rushed into my house and brought out my families and ran to a safer place.
“So far, 13 persons are killed mostly Children and women. We are still looking for more. Many houses were burnt also,” he said.
Also, a survivor from Apia’ahko village, Samson Alat said, an aged man, a little child and youth were killed when armed men invaded the village. “They burnt the house of late Col. Bobai and five important houses and stole from the village,” he said.
According to him, “soldiers came on motor bikes and an armoured tank, but they could not stop these wicked people. We were hiding inside maize farm and we saw them. This was around 1am last night. We are still looking for more missing people.”
A resident in Apiashyim, Jonathan Ishaya said six persons were killed during the attack in his community and the village almost entirely razed.
He said the armed men invaded the Community heavily armed at around 11:00pm of Wednesday, shooting sporadically.
Secretary, Atyap Traditional Council, Mr Stephen Akut, also confirmed the development to journalists that, “the attackers were said to be in large numbers and that the casualty figures are still sketchy. Security operatives have been mobilize to the affected communities.”
Chairman of ZangoKataf Local Government Area, Dr Elias Manza on his part, confirmed that three corpses were recovered in KurminMasara, six in ApyiaShyam (Asha a Wuce) and 10 in Takmawai where the destruction of property was massive.
Meanwhile, several calls put across to the Police Public Relations Officer for Kaduna State Police Command, ASP Muhammad Jalige, were not responded to as at the time of filing this report.
In a related development, a deadly attack by suspected cultists has left four people including a pregnant woman dead in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.
The deceased which also included the husband of the pregnant woman occurred Wednesday night along Bakery Road of Azikoro area in the state capital.
Investigations revealed that the attack by the suspected cultists was a reprisal attack following a partnership between Police security outfit, Operation Puff Adder and residents of the state which has made the suspected cultists uncomfortable.
The synergy between residents and the Police had led to the recent invasion and destruction of the cultists’ hideout which has been used for criminal activities.
Sources in the area said the suspected cultists might also be irked over the recent mob lynching of cult members in the area
The suspected cultists were said to have stormed a church Lion of Judah Fire Deliverance Ministry where a security guard was shot dead before moving to kill the three other people in front of their homes.
Sources said the suspected cultists were patrolling the area and dared residents to come out to fight them.
A team of Operation Puff Adder operatives deployed to the area to arrest the situation succeeded in chasing the cultists away.
The Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli who visited the scene ordered the immediate manhunt for the suspects.
He assured members of the Community of adequate police protection and ordered for full Investigation to unravel the motive for this dastardly attack.
The Bayelsa State Police Command in a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), AsinimButswat, announced that the police are already on the trail of the suspects.
“On 5th August, 2020, at about 2300hours, armed suspected cultists stormed the ‘Lion of Judah Church’ Azikoro village, Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State
“They shot dead four church members namely; Alfred Marcus aged 30 years, Imomotimi aged 25 years, Gabriel Ejimofor aged 45 years and UchechukwuEjimofor aged 38 years and set ablaze a nearby building, damaged a vehicle and the church properties.
“Operatives of operation Puff Adder had earlier traced the hideouts of the cultists in the bush, dislodged them and burnt their camp.
“It is believed that this is a reprisal attack by the suspected cultists. Meanwhile two suspects have been arrested and are cooperating with the Police in their investigation”.
FG Mulls Introduction Of Private Firefighters
The Federal Government says it is proposing to broaden the scope of the National Fire Academy to accommodate private firefighters to address fire incidents across the country.
The plan, if carried out, would lead to the emergence of private firefighters in the country.
Speaking after his first official inspection tour of the academy, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said the fire service could have certified private firefighters like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ private guards.
He added that private firefighters were needed to enhance the fire service’s operations as well as improve their response time.
This was contained in a statement by the Minister’s Media Adviser, Alao Babatunde, yesterday.
The statement partly read, “Today, we have over 3 million private guards certified by the NSCDC. We can have something similar for the fire service. We need private fire service men to enhance our service and response time. The President’s #RenewedHope agenda has charged us to be innovative if we must change the narrative.
“As a matter of fact, this is another innovative way to generate revenue because we expect that anyone looking to become a safety or security guard should get trained and certified by this academy.”
Tunji-Ojo urged all institutions and recreation centres to engage certified fire and safety personnel trained by the academy when the plan materialises.
He said: “A lot has been done, but there is still a lot more to be done. With what I have seen here, I can guarantee you that we will work very hard to see that this facility will not only be useful in training officers of the fire service but also for the private sector.
“We must make fire safety a personal affair. Every institution, commercial and social recreation centre should have certified fire and safety personnel, trained by this facility.
“All public and commercial buildings and infrastructure such as banks, hotels, malls, restaurants, or even government buildings should have first responders that can administer basic fire fighting remedy while waiting for the arrival of a full operation squad of the country’s Fire Service”.
Decentralise Pipeline Surveillance Contracts, Ondo Ex-Militants Urge Tinubu
A group of ex-militants in Ondo State, on Wednesday, called on President Bola Tinubu to revisit the pipeline surveillance project and decentralise the awarding of the contract.
The group, under the auspices of the Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard, said decentralisation of the contract would enhance the security of pipelines on waterways.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the group, Chief Lucky Ajiroba.
The statement is titled, ‘Call on His Excellency President Bola Tinubu to re-visit the pipeline surveillance contract.’
The group faulted the last administration for awarding the contract to only one company, saying the purpose for which the contract was awarded was not achieved as the security situation of the pipelines was getting worse.
The statement read, “We are the members of Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard. The group led by Akogun Job Omotuwa comprises ex-militants in the state who voluntarily submitted their arms and ammunition in response to the good gesture of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the amnesty programme in the year 2017, and we have shown our unwavering allegiance to the terms of the amnesty initiative of the government.
“The overall effects of all these are: it has increased considerably the quantum of oil production, it has substantially increased the revenue accruable to the Federation account, and ultimately it allows peaceful coexistence among the people of the oil-producing communities of the country.
“We are aware of the sterling enterprise of this administration to improve on the security architecture of the Nigeria state and all its apparatus, with a particular reference to the pipeline surveillance and secured waterways.
“The last administration made a giant stride by awarding the pipeline surveillance to a sole company in the Niger Delta Area. It is not out of place to state that the purpose upon which the contract was awarded for was not achieved as the situation of the security of the pipeline was worse than ever before since their collaborative effort was not enough to support the constituted military authorities.
“The failure of this was ascribed to the centralization of the contract. In view of this perennial failure, there has been avalanche of agitation from every quarter that the pipeline security contract should be decentralized for the purpose of achieving the desired goal of the Federal Government which is in the best interest of the entire citizens.”
The group, which commended the President for its efforts in repositioning the country’s economy, opined that each ex-militant leader in the Niger Delta Region be identified, and the pipeline security contract be split among them.
Assembly Tasks Delta Govt On Rising Prostitution, Drug Abuse
The Delta House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the State Government to take drastic measures against rising cases of drug abuse and prostitution in the state.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Mrs Bridget Anyafulu (PDP-Oshimili South) at plenary in Asaba.
Presenting the motion, Anyafulu decried rising cases of open sex trade and use of illicit drugs among youths in the state, especially in Asaba and environs.
“Open sex trade and use of illicit drug is not a good example for our children.
“The situation is worrisome considering the fact that both issues are illegal,” she said.
Anyafulu, also the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Community and Social Development said that urgent measures must be taken to address the situation.
“The twin evil of drug abuse and sex trade represents great danger to the lives of our young people and the society at large.
“They both underline the physical, mental and social well-being of our young people and this will also jeopardize the development, peace and security of our dear state.
“So, I want to state that no nation survives without the youth, the youth and the young general are the life wire of our nation.
“Any nation that ignores the youth is heading for doom, so the importance of the young people cannot be over emphasized, it is therefore very important that we address this ugly trend,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) decried the negative impact of rising drug abuse and prostitution, saying it must be addressed.
‘‘If this ugly trend is not addressed, it would attract more young people into their folks,’’ he said.
He also urged the government to rehabilitate youths who were addicted to drug and to create other avenues of engaging them in productive activities.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when put to voice vote by Speaker Dennis Guwor.
The lawmakers also called for support from law enforcement agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of illicit drug dealers and commercial sex workers in accordance with the law in order to curb the rising trend.
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