Nicholas Kalu, Okodili Ndidi, Frank Ikpefan, Abuja; Sani Muhammad Sani, Gusau; AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna; Duku Joel, Maiduguri and Toba Adedeji, Osogbo
THE worsening insecurity in the country has taken another dimension with more killings and abductions.
Suspected bandits abducted 12 senior police officers who were travelling to Zamfara State from Borno State.
The incident occurred along the Katsina-Zamfara highway about two weeks ago, the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported yesterday.
Police spokesman Frank Mba did not respond to calls and messages to his cellphone to confirm the incident.
The officers, all Assistant Superintendents of Police, were on their way to carry out a special assignment, the report said.
It was gathered that the kidnappers have demanded N800, 000 for each of the victims.
The wife of one of the victims said her husband had called to inform her of the abduction.
The abducted officer had reportedly instructed his wife to sell his house to raise the money.
The woman said she knew the families of eight other abducted officers.
The Katsina State Police Command said it is investigating the abduction.
Its spokesman Gambo Isah told our correspondent: “The Commissioner of Police Sunusi Buba has already ordered a thorough investigation, to find out where it happened and when it happened if it actually happened. We are not yet very sure of the facts.”
The Zamfara State Police Command spokesman Muhammad Shehu said they had no report of any such abduction.
16 killed in Kaduna
Gunmen have killed 16 persons in Kaduna State in the past three days, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said.
According to him, many were injured when gunmen attacked Giwa, Zangon Kataf, Igabi and Kajuru local government areas between Sunday and yesterday.
He said the District Head of Gidan Zaki in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA), Haruna Kuye, and his son, Destiny, were killed at home early yesterday.
The deceased district head’s daughter and widow sustained machete and gunshot wounds. The gunmen also abducted many others.
Aruwan said two persons were killed when assailants attacked Fatika, Kaya and Yakawada villages in Giwa local government area.
The commissioner added that 11 persons were killed in Monday’s attack at Albasu village in Igabi LGA.
He urged citizens to contact the government with information that could lead to the arrest of the assailants on 09034000060 or 08170189999, or via email: Internal.Security@kdsg.gov.ng.
The commissioner said the military under the auspices of Operation Safe Haven informed the Kaduna State Government of the killings.
“The security report further stated that the act was carried out by about five men wielding AK-47 rifles and machetes, who also tried to burn the house and a vehicle.
“Three empty cases and a live round of 7.62mm special ammunition were recovered at the scene.
“Troops in collaboration with other security agencies are carrying out investigations and trailing the assailants,” Aruwan said.
Troops dislodge bandits, kidnappers in Katsina, Sokoto
The Defence Headquarters said troops of Operation Accord dislodged some suspected bandits and kidnappers in parts of Katsina and Sokoto states.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche said in a statement that the troops engaged the criminals following credible intelligence on the presence of kidnappers in Garin Arawa in Tangaza LGA of Sokoto.
He said the encounter led to the killing of one kidnapper while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
One AK47 rifle, one magazine and one motorcycle were recovered.
Enenche said that troops also received a distress call from motorists along Tashan Bawa-Kuyelo road that suspected bandits barricaded the road in an attempt to rob road users.
According to him, troops’ superior firepower forced the robbers to flee into the bush.
He also said that troops deployed in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State arrested two suspected kidnappers at Tsembe Kolumbo village, adding that they are in custody.
The Coordinator said the troops on Monday arrested a suspected bandit, Bello Ardo, in Yargoje town of Kankara LGA in Katsina State.
‘No helicopter was shot down in Borno’
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said no helicopter was shot down by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State.
Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, explained that a United Nations helicopter undertook a mission to Banki and has since returned to Maiduguri, the state capital.
Daramola, on his verified Twitter handle @kunledaramola3, said the report (not by The Nation) was false.
“No helicopter was shot down. No helicopter crashed in Borno State today (yesterday). A UN helicopter indeed undertook a mission to Banki & has since returned to Maiduguri,” he said.
The United Nation Coordination Office Of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) also said no helicopter was shot down.
It tweeted via its handled OCHANigeria: “Contrarily to ongoing rumours, no UN helicopter was hit nor crashed today (yesterday) in Northeast Nigeria. Please refrain from sharing any unconfirmed information. Thank you.”