Local Katsina news, Nigeria
Governor Masari: Politicians causing insecurity over 2023
Governor Bello Masari of Katsina State has said the insecurity that has afflicted the state in recent years is sponsored by politicians, who are bent on reaping dubious political gains or use it as leverage ahead of the 2023 elections.
According to Governor Masari, the unnamed politicians want to dent the image of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state and the country and portray them as being passive in the face of ravaging insecurity.
Beside saying insecurity in the Katsina is political, Masari also attributed the spate of killings in the state to reprisal attacks by bandits against the cold-blooded murder of their suspected relatives or collaborators by groups that had been outlawed by the state government.
He said activities of the groups, including the well-known Yan’sankee teams, were counter-productive, as they would travel to distant villages and communities to kill one or two suspects, but the irate bandits would strike back later, killing innocent persons in their numbers in the affected villages.
Amid these claims over the killings are the conclusions of many Katsina residents that the bandits had never hidden their desperation to forcefully evict various rural communities in the state.
A university lecturer in Katsina told newsmen: “Nigerians need to know the exact motive of the bandits, so that these killings and insecurity should not continue to linger in the state and the North-West in particular.”
The don, who spoke in confidence, said: “Fleeing residents of several villages have claimed again and again that the bandits that are killing their men and youths often warned that the people of the areas should vacate the land or they would know no peace.”
This is coming as the Emir of Katsina, Alhajii Abdulmumin Kabir Usman, had repeatedly appealed, almost in tears, to the government to act decisively to stop the killings and destruction of his people’s means of livelihood.
Despite government and security agencies’ assurances that there was no cause for alarm, the internally-displaced persons, IDPs, camps in Faskari and Dandume Local Government areas had thousands of IDPs under their roofs until some weeks ago, when their figures fell considerably.
Other IDPs camps in Batsari, Jibia and Kankara had also seen women and children in their numbers streaming in from different local communities for succour.
Just last Saturday, no fewer than 40 innocent children, officers and men of the military were slain.
Some 11 children in Yammama Village, Malumfashi Local Government Area of the state, were fiddling with what they thought to be toys, when the grenades they found in a farm from which they were cutting grasses to feed domestic animals exploded in their faces.
Six of them, including five from the same parents, died on the spot about 11.30am. The others, who escaped untimely death on the fateful day, were rushed to the hospital in critical conditions for treatment.
It was, in fact, a double tragedy in Katsina that day as no fewer than 16 of the Nigerian soldiers and officers lost their lives in Jibia axis of the state.
Later in the night, it was gathered that the troops were advancing on foot in Shimfida Village of Jibia Local Government Area when they were ambushed by dare-devil gunmen at about 6.13pm.
The cause of the tragedy, which also left about 28 other soldiers wounded, was traced to the bandits’ camp on a hilltop in the area.
However, there were conflicting reports about the casualties on the Jibia incident.
The Defence Headquarters said the troops of Operation Sahel Sanity killed over 17 of the gunmen, but suffered the casualty of an officer and two soldiers, with four others being wounded in the action, contrary to reports.
DHQ: Troops kill six bandits, foil attempt to rustle livestock in Katsina, Zamfara
The Defence Headquarters says troops of Exercise Sahel Sanity have killed six bandits and foiled their attempts to rustle livestock in Katsina and Zamfara States between July 13 and July 14.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, John Enenche, in a statement on Wednesday, said the feat was achieved on July 14 following receipt of credible intelligence.
Enenche, an army major-general, said the troops, backed by helicopter gunships of the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji, stormed the bandits’ enclave at Komani Hills within Rukudawa general area of Zamfara.
He added that the troops overwhelmed the bandits with superior firepower, killing six while others fled with gunshot wounds.
According to him, one GPMG, one AK 47 rifle, one magazine and 34 motorcycles were recovered.
The coordinator further disclosed that the troops had earlier on July 13 responded to a distress call on an attempt by armed bandits to rustle cows at Kasele Village in Batsari area of Katsina State.
He said that when the troops swiftly mobilised to the scene, the bandits fled in disarray and abandoned the rustled animals.
According to him, the gallant troops have maintained a presence in the village and normalcy has been restored.
“The Military High Command congratulates the gallant troops for their dexterity and encourages them to remain resolute and sustain the offensive in the North-West zone of the country,” he said.
Seven Police Officers Deployed To Tackle Banditry In Katsina Die In Motor Accident, 11 Others Injured
Seven police officers have been confirmed dead and 11 others fatally injured in a motor accident on their way to Katsina State.
The officers were part of an additional deployment made recently by the Force to boost the ongoing fight against bandits in Birnin-Gwari.
Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, in a statement said the incident occurred on Sunday.
He said the accident, which involved an 18-seater Toyota bus conveying 18 personnel of the unit, occurred at Jaji town along Kaduna-Zaria Road.
The statement reads, “The Inspector-General of Police, M.A Adamu, has condoled the families of the seven police officers attached to the Special Forces Unit of the Nigeria Police Force who died in a motor accident on 12th July, 2020 on their way to Katsina State. The unfortunate incident, which involved an 18-seater Toyota bus conveying eighteen personnel of the unit, occurred at Jaji town along Kaduna-Zaria Road.
“The deceased were part of an additional deployment made recently by the Force to boost the ongoing fight against bandits in Birnin-Gwari, Katsina State. The IGP, who described the incident as a huge loss to the Force, notes that the incident is one of the unfortunate sacrifices officers often encounter in the line of duty. He described the deceased as “Heroes of Peace”.
“A team of police medical personnel has been dispatched to Kaduna State where 11 officers that survived the accident are receiving medical attention. Three of the deceased officers have been buried according to Islamic rites while the remains of the other four have been deposited in a morgue.”
EFCC Receives Petition To Prosecute Katsina Governor, Masari, Over N52bn Security Votes Misappropriation
Aresident of Kastina State, Muhammad Mahdi Shehu, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate Governor Aminu Masari for alleged misappropriation and misapplication of over N52bn spent as security vote in the state from June 2015 to April 29, 2020.
Shehu in a petition addressed to the EFCC said the daily attacks by bandits in the state calls for serious question on the sincerity in the security management by the state government.
He said, “This petition and the annextures are intended to draw the attention of your commission to the security expenditure of Kastina State from June 2015 to 29th April, 2020 for your expertise perusal and deep enquiry in order to ascertain the genuine nature of the spending. This is more so because it a standard global practice for appropriated monies to be accounted for because collective ownership hangs on them.
“The repetitive nature of most of the transactions as recorded, the gleaming duplications, inconsistencies, contradictions and repeatedly difficult to understand reasoning particularly the senseless geometrical laughable spending increases on 10 no mobile policemen at Lamba Rimi Windmill Project and so many other expenses that don’t add up, calls or serious questions and cast reasonable doubt on the transparency with which the security vote is being managed.
“Let me also draw your kind attention that by Friday, the 4th of July, 2020, all expenditure related accounting books and documents have been moved to the Government House. It will therefore not be a surprise if attempts will not be made to tamper with them.
“June 2015 to December 2015 - N809,098,210, 2016 - N3,629,189,460, 2017 - N7,880,836,508, 2018 - N24,137,364,725, 2019 - N12,735,698,345, 2020 - N3,494,682,000.”
The anti-graft agency is yet to state when it will act on the petition submitted to it by Shehu on Governor Masari.
Gunmen kill 2, abduct APC chieftain, 9 others in Katsina
Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Matazu Local Government Area of Katsina State, Alhaji Yusau Dissi, was reportedly abducted alongside nine others by gunmen in different attacks across the state.
This came as suspected herdsmen, Saturday night in Asaba, Delta State capital, kidnapped the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in the state, Goodluck Ofobruku.
In Katsina, the bandits also reportedly killed one Nuru Lawal at Kandawa village and one Aminu Mai Unguwar at Dan Alhaji village in Batsari Local Government Area of the state last Thursday.
At Matazu, the gunmen were said to have targeted the APC chairman in the local government on Saturday but they, however, kidnapped two other residents of the town with him.
At Wurma in Kurfi Local Government Area of the state, four ladies, including a five-year-old, whose mother fled her home when the gunmen struck, were kidnapped on Saturday.
Sources revealed that the casualties included a housewife and her baby as well as a teenage girl while the gunmen rustled about nine sheep and snatched a motorcycle.
Spokesman of the state police command, Gambo Isah, could not be reached for comments on the attacks as at press time.
EFCC Receives Petition To Investigate Katsina Governor, Masari, Secretary, Other Government Officials In Over N300bn Fraud
Apetition has been written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission calling for the investigation of Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State; Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Muhammed Inuwa; Commissioner for Local Government and some other government officials in over N300bn financial misappropriation.
The petition was also used to urge the anti-graft agency to investigate unlawful cash withdrawal, stealing and diversion of over 340 new vehicles belonging to 34 local government and as well as the illegal and unlawful approval and release of N500m to the national headquarters of the All Progressives Congress for the party’s June national convention.
The financial misappropriation was alleged to have been carried out between 2015 and 2018 in contravention of extant rules and financial regulations and constitutions of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
In a breakdown of the financial misappropriation by the state government, some of the funds were embezzled under fictitious project and pilgrimage.
In 2015, N17.8m was issued for polio eradication; N121.5m for pilgrimage in two tranches; N21.9m for the permanent secretary in four tranches while N273.7m was released as transfer for MLG.
Aside from the governor, secretary and commissioner, other government officials indicted in the scandal include 34 local government council directors of admin and finance, accountant-general, deputy accountant general, permanent secretary (local government and chieftaincy affairs), permanent secretary ministry of finance.
Others indicted are permanent secretary government house, chairman state internal revenue board, O. M. housing authority, director of finance (department of Sure P.) and director security (SSG office).
The petitioner highlighted some of the corruption as, “Award of N2.8bn contract in June 2015 for procurement of fertilizer without budgetary provision, tenders board or executive council approval clearly over and above governor’s limit.
“unlawful and illegal release and diversion of non-appropriated sum of N589m, which was withdrawn in cash by one Kabir Faskari (Kebram) on the pretext of doing Ramadan feeding.
“The unlawful and illegal withdrawal of N150m and diversion of same from local government accounts at N15m per local government in June 2015.
“Unlawful cash withdrawal of over N3bn from Sure P accounts with Access Bank and other banks.
“Unlawful cash withdrawal, payments, and direct breach of public trust by Governor Aminu Bello Masari from the state board of Internal Revenue Service.”
Other financial misappropriations levelled against the governor and his cabinet members include renting of Army of Karama House for N750m per annum and renovation of same at N250m and the looting and outright stealing of N3.6bn cash in 2016 by Governor Masari, Inuwa and officials of the Ministry of Finance from the security escrow account.