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333 Katsina schoolboys still missing, says Governor Masari as parents protest

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Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has said 333 students are still missing after an attack on Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in the state.

He gave the number when a Federal Government delegation led by National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, visited him on Sunday.

Gunmen had invaded the school on Friday night, shooting into the air to scare away people in the area, giving them the opportunity to abduct many students.

Some people including parents of the abducted students took to protest on Sunday over the abduction and demanded immediate rescue of their children.

This came as Northern Governors Forum (NGF) condemned the Saturday’s attack by bandits on the school, describing the development as “unfortunate, regrettable and intolerable”.

The school is said to have a population of around 800 students. The police said when the gunmen attacked the school; some of the students scaled the fence to escape.

Spokesman for the Katsina Police Command, Isah Gambo, had earlier said 200 students were rescued as of Saturday morning.

On Saturday evening, Spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, said the armed forces had located the hideout of the bandits in a forest.

The president directed the security agencies to ensure the rescue of the abducted students and urged parents whose children fled home during the attack to notify the school.

The protesters in Katsina on Sunday demanded the immediate rescue of students abducted by bandits.

The protest was led by a woman who identified herself as one of the mothers of the abducted students.

They went around the school’s premises and some parts of the town with placards showing messages such as ‘Government must speak out’, ‘We want our children back’ and ‘We want security in Kankara’.

The Northern Governors Forum also condemned the attack and said through their Chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, in a statement signed by his Director of Press, Dr Simon Macham, that they remained solidly behind the security agencies in the pursuit of the bandits to ensure that normalcy was restored and the abducted students rescued.

They appreciated the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the security forces to deploy every available resource needed to deal with the situation.

They also expressed solidarity with the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, the government and people of the state and urged that everything possible should be done to ensure that no student was left behind in the bandits’ captivity or harmed

Lalong said the prayers of the forum were with the families of the students, the school authorities and called on the citizens to volunteer useful information to the security agencies and relevant government bodies to assist in the quick arrest of the situation.

Coalition of Northern Groups had earlier threatened to mobilise students and youths to go on protest in if the abducted students were not rescued on time.

Chairman of the North-West zone of the group, Jamiu Aliyu, who addressed a press conference in Katsina, said, “We condemn in totality this barbaric act and call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the culprits, we equally stress the inability of the government to protect those young, innocent, vibrant students from this horrible attack as uncalled for.

“Failure of the government to rescue the missing students within a shortest period of time, CNG will not hesitate to mobilize hundreds of thousands on the streets of Katsina state for a continuous protest, until the students are fully rescued, even if it’s going to cost our lives.”

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the deployment of additional forces to Katsina to assist in the rescue operations.

“The deployment, which includes personnel from the Police Tactical Squads and crack detectives from the Force Intelligence Bureau, will provide investigative support to the Katsina State Police Command,” a statement by the Police spokesman, Frank Mba, said.

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Niger communities excited as soldiers return to Bassa, Allawa

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Excited villagers on Saturday welcomed the return of soldiers to Bassa and Allawa towns in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State after a month of their quitting the area due to invasion of their camps by bandits.
The armed soldiers came in about 100 camouflage vehicles to begin a special operation in the area.
The return of the soldiers followed a series of meetings between the new General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj-Gen. Danjuma Hamisu Ali-Keffi, the state government and other stakeholders in the state.
The military camps in Allawa and Bassa in the Shiroro Local Government of the state were shut down last month after bandits numbering about 100 invaded the Security Joint Taskforce camps in the two towns, killing 12 soldiers, burning the camps and some operational vehicles.
Another camp at Zagzaga in the Munya Local Government was also sacked a few days later during which one RSM was kidnapped and found dead three days after.
A senator representing Niger East Senatorial zone in the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Musa, said, “It is a welcome development and a great relief to the people it should be sustained.
“The return of soldiers is a great relief for my people, and I want to thank and commend President Muhammadu Buhari and the military for the return of the soldiers.
“I will equally want to appeal to them to hasten the return of soldiers to other communities to enable the people go back to their homes to continue their farming business.”

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Thunderstorms, heavy rains disrupt Yoruba Nation agitators rally in Osogbo

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Thunderstorms with heavy rain on Saturday disrupted the rally by agitators of Yoruba Nation in Osogbo Osun State.
Scores of Yoruba Nation agitators had stormed the popular Nelson Mandela Freedom Park in Osogbo on Saturday after they changed the venue of the rally because of the heavy security presence.
One of the leading Yoruba Nation agitators, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, arrived in Osogbo from Oyo State at 1.40pm and went straight to where the agitators were demonstrating at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park.
Igboho got to the venue at 2.01pm to address the agitators.
He was addressing the agitators when the scorching sunny weather turned cloudy at 2.25pm.
He hurriedly addressed his supporters standing on top of a vehicle. When other leaders wanted to address the agitators, heavy rain started and it dispersed supporters from the venue.
While it was raining, thunderstorms made it impossible for supporters to gather and they ran for cover.

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Our police are overwhelmed, says Bauchi governor

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Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed has said that security challenges in Nigeria will require collaborative efforts because the police are overwhelmed.
He stated this when he addressed journalists in Bauchi, stressing that addressing insecurity could not be left to the Federal Government alone.

He urged state and local governments, as well as traditional rulers, to be actively involved in ensuring improved security across the country.

Mohammed said, “It is the responsibility of the federal, state and the local governments, including all the traditional institutions in the country.
“These problems can only with tackled with concerted efforts and collaboration from the federal, state and local governments.“As a nation, we are challenged by so many aspects of misdemeanours, crime and criminality. We must be very courageous to say it, and that is not something that is acceptable within the tenet of Islam.
”It is not just a Federal Government’s responsibility; it’s a responsibility of the Federal Government, the state and the local governments as well as our traditional institutions and all the stakeholders.”

He also said, “We are all policemen today; we know these bandits; we know where they stay and what they do.
“Sometimes, they are aided and abetted by some of us and we should fish them out, because the police in their numbers are already overwhelmed.
“I’m calling on the federal government to work with us as governors and local governments, because that’s where the solution is.
“I hope we sit down as a country to reflect and make sure we bring solutions.”

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