KATSINA BANS OPEN GRAZING AS 25 ARE KILLED IN KADUNA

…Gunmen attack homes in Niger State, five persons, including children kidnapped

…Abducted Chibok schoolgirl, terrorist husband surrender to troops

…More ISWAP, Boko Haram members willing to surrender

By Kingsley Omonobi, with Agency Reports

Katsina Emirate Council has banned open grazing of animals within the Katsina metropolis and its surrounding communities.

This is coming on the heels of  the Federal Government’s opposition to the ban on open grazing by Southern Governors in their meeting in Asaba, Delta State, some months ago.

It came as Kaduna State government confirmed yesterday the death of 25 persons in renewed attacks on four communities of Kauru Local Government Area of the state by bandits, who also attacked some homes at Suleja, Niger State, abducting five persons, including two children.

This is even as one of the abducted students of Government Secondary School, GSS, Chibok, Borno State, and her husband, a Boko Haram-ISWAP terrorist, have surrendered to troops in the North East.

The ban on open grazing in Katsina Emirate was contained in a statement signed by Wakilin Kudin Katsina, Alhaji Abdu Iliyasu, yesterday.

Iliyasu said the directive became effective from Tuesday, August 3, adding that machinery had been put in place for its effective implementation.

Spokesman for the Katsina Emirate Council, Mallam Iro Bindawa said he was out of town and could not comment on the development until he returned.

It will be recalled that Governor Aminu Masari had last month, revealed that President  Muhammadu Buhari had approved N6.25 billion for the state for a ranching project, adding that N5 billion of the money had already been made available.

In Kaduna, the state government yesterday confirmed the death of 25 persons in attacks on four communities in Kauru Local Government Area of the state.

Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, confirmed this while giving an update on the attacks on Ungwan Magaji, Kishicho, Kigam and Kikoba villages of Kauru Local Government on Tuesday. He also said property worth hundreds of millions of naira were also damaged during the attack.

“The figures bring the total number of those who died in the attack to 25, with three persons injured, 68 farms destroyed and 63 huts burnt,’’ he said.

The commissioner said Governor Nasir el-Rufai had already conveyed his deep condolences to the families of those who died in the attack, prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

The government directed the state emergency management agency to conduct an urgent assessment of the affected communities, adding that further developments would be communicated to the public.

5 abducted in Suleja attack

In Suleja, Niger State, gunmen, suspected to be bandits invaded some homes and abducted five persons, including two children.

The gunmen had raided Kwankwashe, a community located along Suleja-Madalla highway in Niger, about 30 minute’s drive to the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

A resident of the area who pleaded anonymity, said her two children, 15  and 17 years old respectively, were taken away in the attack which occurred in the early hours of yesterday, after the bandits had pulled down the gate of the house.

“I woke up my children immediately and made an attempt to glance toward them through my window. But within a few minutes, they rushed towards there and broke part of the window’s burglary.

“They flashed light, and pointed a gun towards me, directing that I should open the room’s door,” she said.

The resident said she was robbed of her money and possessions before the gunmen took her children away.

More tales of woes

Another resident said she and her husband were able to escape but lamented that her brother-in-law was abducted by the gunmen.

She said: “My brother-in-law remained with Mama who could not move away. That was how they abducted him and took our other belongings such as phones, laptops, as well as clothes and shoes.”

‘’Two people were also abducted from a hotel in the area,’’ a source told Vanguard.

Efforts to reach spokesman of the state police command, Wasiu Abiodun, at press time yesterday proved abortive.

Meanwhile, one of the abducted students of Government Secondary School, GSS, Chibok, in Borno State, and her husband, a Boko Haram-ISWAP terrorist, have surrendered to troops in the North East.

A source said the student was among the over 200 students abducted by Boko Haram insurgents seven years ago.

Recall that on April 14, 2014, Boko Haram invaded the Borno school and whisked away some 276 students.

The source said identity of the surrendered female student is being kept secret for now, noting that she and her husband had renounced their membership of the extremist sect.

They surrendered and presented themselves to troops at an unknown location within the Lake Chad region.

The source said some other Boko Haram-ISWAP insurgents had voluntarily reached out to the military, indicating their interests to surrender and lay down their weapons.

“The terrorists’ resolve to surrender may not be unconnected with the destruction of their enclaves and camps by military airstrikes and ground bombardment,’’ the source said.

Why terrorists surrendered

An outbreak of an unknown killer disease is also said to be killing the terrorists in droves, coupled with food scarcity, which have badly hit the terrorists.

The source added:  “In fact, there are many ISWAP and Boko Haram members that are willing to surrender as soon as possible but the military and other security services will ensure the needful is done for national security.”

It will be recalled that during a recent maiden operational tour of Sector 3 Operation Hadin Kai/Multinational Joint Task Force in Monguno, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Faruk Yahaya, charged troops to be decisive in the fight against the Islamic State West Africa Province and Boko Haram terrorists in North-East Nigeria.

While lauding their level of discipline and commitment to duty, General Yahaya admonished them to be apolitical, decisive and circumspect in all their operational engagements.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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