Katsina State came under heavy fire of bandits Wednesday as the District Head of Daura, Alhaji Musa Umar, was abducted by four gunmen.
Daura, the hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari, shared the discomfort with Gobirawa and Sabawa villages in Safana Local Government Area, where 17 persons were reported killed in a night attack by bandits who also injured scores of people.
Said to be Buhari’s in-law, Umar, a former customs officer, is also said to be married to the daughter of the president’s sister.
He is also reported to be the father of Fatima, wife of Col. Mohammed Abubakar, Buhari’s aide-de-camp (ADC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that police officers are on the trail of the criminals.
Witnesses told NAN that the kidnappers stormed his residence at 7p.m. yesterday and shot sporadically into the air, scaring the hell out of bystanders, who scampered for safety.
Umar had just returned from the mosque where he took part in the evening prayer when the incident happened.
He was sitting in front of his house with some people when the gun totting men came.
A witness told NAN that the kidnappers came in a Peugeot 406 saloon car.
After the gunmen left, the Daura Council Chairman Malam Abba Mato, and hundreds of sympathisers came to Umar’s residence, to discuss the incident.
In a related development, bandits struck again on Tuesday night in Gobirawa and Sabawa villages in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State, killing no fewer than 17 people with several others sustaining injuries.
The member representing Safana constituency at the Katsina State House of Assembly, Hon. Abduljalal Runka, who confirmed the development to journalists yesterday, said the armed bandits in their dozens stormed the villages on motorbikes shooting sporadically.
He explained that the bandits started their dastardly acts in Gobirawa village where most of the victims were killed and later moved to Sabawa in the early hours of yesterday, leaving many women and children missing.
According to him, “They entered the villages yesterday, killed people and burnt houses and shops. As of now, we have 17 corpses on the ground and we are still sorting out. On Friday they entered another village called Ilela and killed two children.
“The federal government should come to our aid. What the bandits are doing in Zamfara is what they are doing in Katsina. Even yesterday, I moved a motion on the issue at the state Assembly. It is necessary for federal government to focus its attention in Katsina State.”
The lawmaker reiterated that the measures taken by the federal government to tackle the menace in Zamfara State should be extended to Katsina State in order to end what he described as deadly attacks.
The state Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Mr. Gambo Isah, who confirmed the incident said police personnel, including mobile policemen and other security agencies have been deployed in the affected areas to put the situation under control and fish out the perpetrators for prosecution.
According to him, “Yesterday at about 18:10 hours, a group of bandits operating on over 150 motorcycles attacked Gobirawa and Sabawa villages, killing 13 persons, touched unspecified number of houses and rustled animals.”
He said police patrol team were later dispatched to the scene and engaged the hoodlums in gun duel and chased them out of the villages.
Isah added that the command in collaboration with other security agencies was doing everything humanly possible to put an end to banditry and other heinous crime in the state.
Newsmen reliably gathered that those who lost their lives were buried at 10.a.m. Wednesday, according to Islamic injunctions, while those who sustained injuries are receiving treatment in various hospitals and homes.
Meanwhile, two Fulani herders identified as Mubarak Yakubu and Shehu Saidu, have been confirmed missing, while 319 cows were also allegedly killed in the latest attacks in Bassa LGA of Plateau State.
Confirming the attacks in a statement made available to journalists in Jos Wednesday, the state PPRO, Mr. Mathias Terna Tyopev, said 12 other cattle were killed, while another 11 were rustled during the attacks, which occurred in Billi and Ariri villages, Miango District of the LGAs.
It was gathered that the losses suffered by the herders may be a reprisal for an earlier attack in the community by gunmen suspected to be Fulani, who killed three persons and injured several others, including a seven- month-old baby.
“We received an information on 29/04 /2019 at about 8a.m. to the effect that unknown gunmen attacked Maiyanga area of Miango district. As a result, one Jummai Jah (female), and Emmanuel Ishaya (male), were killed. While a seven-month-old girl, Tabitha, survived with a neck injury and is receiving treatment at Enos Hospital at Miango.
“The information also emphasised that Monday Audu of Rotsu village also in Miango district was shot and matcheted to death.
“While the investigation into these crimes were ongoing, the command on 30/04 /2019 at about 7.30 a.m, received information that about 319 cattle were attacked and killed, while 11 cattle were rustled.
“Two cattle rearers – one Mubarak Yakubu and one Shehu Saidu, both male of different addresses were missing. All these allegedly took place in Billi and Ariri in Miango District.
“The command has mobilised a search-and-rescue team to rescue the missing rearers, while efforts are on the way to track and arrest the perpetrators of these dastardly acts.
“The command has also mobilised a combined team of Police Mobile Force (PMF) and detective personnel to the affected areas to maintain law and order.”