Leadership (Abuja)

1 February 2013

Nigeria: Armed Bandits Invade Birnin Gwari Again, Kill Three Cops, Villager

Barely 12 hours after the Emir of Birnin Gwari, Mallam Zubairu Jibril on a courtesy call to the Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramallan Yero, lamented how armed bandits had taken over his emirate, about 100 heavily armed bandits invaded the area last night, lowing up a police station, 2 commercial banks and killing three policemen and one other person.

While narrating the ordeal to Governor Yero who visited the embattled village to assess the impact of the attack, the Emir said the bandits came in three vehicles and several motorcycles at about 11pm on Wednesday and launched attack one hour later.

It would be recalled that LEADERSHIP reported yesterday how the Emir had cried out to the state governor over the plight of the community, where he lamented how his emirate had itself in the hands of armed bandits who had made his domain ungovernable.

It would also be recalled that on the 14th October, 2012 over 20 persons were slain in Dogon Dawa village of the same Birnin Gwari local government area of the state; an attack which alleged to have been a reprisal.

According to the Emir, "we are disturbed, because as I talk to you now, neither the governor nor I are in charge of the security in some of the villages in Birnin Gwari; the armed bandits are in charge and have taken over our land.

"They dictate what goes on in the village under their territory, they move around with their weapons in broad day light even in the market with nobody to challenge them."

Still narrating the yesterday incident in a sober mood, Mallam Jibril said, "We could not sleep through out last night, the armed robbers made life miserable for us. From what I gathered, they went to a tea joint, had tea, fuelled their vehicles, went to a bank and tried to charge their handsets before they launched their attack.

"We heard the sound of the bomb explosion over several times; they are sophisticated armed bandits, considering the way they operated. In fact, we saw hell last night," the Emir narrated to the Governor.

Mallam Jibril then appealed to the governor to see to it that a police area command was cited in the area and if possible, an Army formation, in order to be able to adequately address the situation, stressing that the situation needs urgent and proactive measures to stem the tide.

He expressed optimism that if the situation was arrested with all sincerity of purpose and intention it deserved, it would not only be beneficial to the people of the state, but other Nigerians who plied the route and had at one time or the other fallen victims of the armed robbery attack.

Earlier in his address at the Emir's palace, Governor Yero who was in the area alongside the Police Commissioner and other top government functionaries commiserated with the Emir and the people of the area, saying no person in his right senses would carry out such acts.

He noted "Could they have heard our discussion when you visited or could it just be a coincidence? Whichever way, only God knows."

He said the act was capable of drawing the state backward in terms of development, while assuring that the state government would whatever was required to ensure that the state was peaceful for all and sundry to live in.

Meanwhile Governor Yero has called on the people of the area not to take laws into their hands but to remain calm, law-abiding and peaceful, while reassuring of government's commitment towards addressing the situation within the shortest period.

He further charged them to always report any suspicious movement of person or persons to the nearest security authority and in good time, so as to facilitate prompt and appropriate actions.

Also, the Kaduna State Commissioner of police, Olufemi Adenaike who confirmed the death of three of his men and one other person, said the armed bandits attacked the Birnin Gwari Police Division and the commercial banks in an operation that lasted over three hours.

According to the CP, 20 of his men where on the ground when the robbers attacked the police station, " our men engaged them but they overpowered our men because they came in large numbers, and subsequently, they killed three of our men and one other person."

But the Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO) DSP Aminu Lawan debunked that any suspect was set free neither there were other police men injured apart from the three that were confirmed dead.

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