Again, bandits have killed five vigilante group members and injured one at Udawa community in Chikun Local Council of Kaduna State following an ambush of their vehicle.
A police officer, whose name was given as Yahaya Joshua, was also feared killed in Juji Community, and his family members abducted, yesterday.
The Guardian gathered, yesterday, that the daredevil bandits attacked the Vigilante’s Hilux van along Birnin Gwari road as they were returning from Kaduna to Udawa around 5.30 p.m.
The Chief Imam of Udawa community, Alhaji Hussain Iliyasu, who confirmed the killing to journalists, said vigilante’s vehicle had eight occupants, adding that the bandits killed five, injured one while two escaped.
Also, bandits, yesterday morning, invaded the settlements of Ungwan Sauri and Adnayita communities along Juji, about 10:00a.m., blocked exit routes and shot sporadically into the air. They then proceeded to the house of a policeman, shot him before taking his wife and other persons away with them.
HOWEVER, four days after the abduction of the Dodo of Wawa, Dr. Mahmud Ahmed, in his palace, in Borgu Emirate, Niger State, the criminals have demanded N100 million ransom for his release.
Some people from Wawa have attributed the abduction of the traditional ruler to his long standing opposition to the activities of some Fulani men from neighbouring Benin Republic and Niger to settle in the area. His security guard, however, has been accused of providing information to bandits.
MEANWHILE, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna has denied the rumours that the state was planning to join other North West states to shut down telecoms services as a measure to curb banditry.
Special Adviser, Media and Communication, to the Governor, Muyiwa Adekeye, said Kaduna government did not reach out to any federal agency for telecoms shutdown, and had not ordered communications shutdown.
He urged Kaduna residents to “ignore the rumours. It is fake news, which some people are trying to pass off as genuine by placing KDSG logo on their false statements. It is simply not true.”
SMARTING from the successful pilot scheme of electronic voting in the state’s local council election, El-Rufai has urged the Federal Government to adopt electronic voting and transmission of results during the 2023 general election in the country.
According to El-Rufai, after the successful conduct of the local council elections with electronic gadgets in Kaduna, the nation can borrow a leaf by the use of the e-voting system in the 36 states during future polls.
The governor stated yesterday: “With utmost humility, I wish to express profound gratitude to the people of Kaduna for the largely peaceful and orderly conduct of the local council elections of September 4, 2021.”
We are building training facility in South East not Ruga settlement – Army
The 83 Division Nigerian Army in Enugu have debunked rumours making the rounds that it is constructing a Ruga settlement at Igbo-Etiti community in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The army described the report which is being aired on some online radio as maliciously aimed at inciting the public against the Nigerian Army and urged the public to disregard the rumour.
Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, in charge of 82 Division, Major Abubakar Abdullahi, who made this known in a statement on Wednesday, said the alleged construction of a Ruga is actually a military training facility embarked by army engineers at Igbo-Etiti Community of Udi Local Government Area, Enugu State. He said the project which is currently under construction when completed would accommodate troops during training and aid to improve their efficiency in protecting law-abiding citizens across the South East.
Abdullahi’s statement reads:
The 82 Division Nigerian Army has noted with utmost concern, a baseless allegation aired through an outlawed online radio that the Division of the Nigerian Army is currently constructing a Ruga Settlement at Igbo-Etiti community of Udi Local Government Area, Enugu State.
“Though this inciting broadcast emanates from a source bereft of any credibility whatsoever, there is need however to present the facts clearly for the sake of posterity. It must be emphasised that Nigerian Army Engineers are not constructing any Ruga Settlement in any part of Nigeria. Rather, the Engineers are currently constructing a military training facility at Igbo-Etiti Community of Udi Local Government Area, Enugu State. Upon completion, the facility will accommodate troops during training and aid to improve their efficiency in protecting law-abiding citizens across the South East. Any counter-narrative aired on the project is a malicious falsehood aimed at inciting the public against the Nigerian Army.
‘Members of the public are therefore advised to disregard such untrue and false information emanating from this aforementioned media or any information source. The Nigerian Army remains a credible institution that unites the country and has no place for ethnoreligious sentiments. We shall continue to carry out our constitutional tasks objectively across the country and remain totally apolitical.’
Kidnapping: Ibrahim Babangida, Three Others Arrested In Adamawa
YOLA – The Police have confirmed the arrest of one Ibrahim Babangida, a principal suspect in the kidnap of a nursing mother Hauwa Umaru, and her daughter on October 10, in Adamawa.
DSP Sulaiman Nguroje confirmed the development in Yola.
Nguroje, the command’s spokesperson, said Babangida was arrested alongside three others who were also behind the attack on the Ngurore Police station.
He said the suspects were arrested on Thursday and one AK-47 rifle with 16 rounds of live ammunition was recovered.
Nguroje said: “The breakthrough that led to the arrest of the suspects began with the arrest of one Buba Ibrahim Babangida, 20, a native of Wuro Bilal village, Ngurore District, Yola South LGA.
“Ibrahim Babangida is one of the principal suspects in the kidnap operation and the confession of the suspect revealed how they abducted Hauwa Umaru, her daughter and one Alhaji Bahago of Ibbare and also attacked the Ngurore police station.
“The police were assisted by some professional hunters who apprehended the other three gang members.”
He identified the three arrested gang members as Tumba Alhaji Dan Bappa, 25, a native of Ibbare district, Yola south LGA; Buba Alhaji Abdu, a resident of Ibbare, Ngurore District, and Abdullahi Lawal, a resident of Lau local government area in Taraba State.
Nguroje also said that the suspected criminals were also part of a seven-man syndicate that was terrorising the people of Adamawa and Taraba States.
He said the suspects would be charged to court on completion of investigations
‘We begged women to urinate for us to drink to stay alive’
- Illegal emigrant narrates deadly experience in desert while trying to move to Europe
- Sight of Mediterranean sea forced me to cancel trip to Italy
Twenty two years after walking through the valley of the shadow of death, in search of greener pastures, Stephen Onyekamma has remained terrified. Unlike those who by faith would confess they fear no evil when confronted with such pangs of death, reliving of his experience still sends shivers down the spines of Onyekamma.
As he narrated his experience in the sahara desert to Saturday Vanguard, Onyekamma would intermittently pause out of traumatic effect and in thanksgiving to God for sparing his life. Initially, he was reluctant about recounting the experience, as he insisted it was one he wouldn’t want to remember. But upon insistence by our correspondent, Onyekamma buckled.
Journey to Libya
Six years after graduating from the Imo State University (IMSU), and after failed attempts to secure a job, Onyekamma decided to get out of Nigeria. That was in 1999. The graduate of Political Science had Italy as his destination country. Rather than following the right process of seeking visa into the European destination, he opted to go through the desert.
From Owerri, Onyekamma moved to Kebbi State and from Kebbi to Niger Republic. According to him, Niger Republic was a converging ground for those seeking to smuggle themselves into Europe through the desert. Unfortunately for the young graduate, he arrived Niger Republic in 1999 at a time he said the country was thrown into turmoil due to a coup d’ etat in which the country’s president was killed. Though he said he was aware of the coup, that however, could not deter him as he was desperate to hit the deadly desert. Waiting for the political unrest in Niger to subside could be a dream killer for him. Onyekamma therefore, resolved to weather the storm.
“After my graduation, I searched for job but couldn’t get. After six years, I decided to travel to Europe through the desert. My plan was to get to Libya, work a little and then move through the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.
“Before I left in 1999, I knew there was a coup in Niger, but I couldn’t wait, since I had already made up my mind to travel”.
Robbed in Niger
Onyekamma had undergone tutelage on how one could safeguard his money while in the desert. According to him, there were three available options – hiding the money in the collar of one’s dress while making the dress, or opening the heel of a shoe to conceal it. The third option was to tie the money in a nylon and swallow it, with the hope of excreting it during the call of nature. All of these options however, could not save Onyekamma. While in Niger Republic trying to board a Libya bound vehicle, he ran into rebels who he said had seized control of part of the country. They stripped him of his belongings, forcing him to return to the capital city of Niger. The rebels had mastered the modus operandi of the emigrants.
“The first setback I had was being robbed by rebels in Niger. I hid my money in the collar of my shirt, but the fear of being killed would even make one to surrender the money willingly. Having lost all I had, I returned to the capital city to restrategize. I was in Niger for about two years to raise some money before I took off again”.
Experience in the desert
Those who navigate through the desert do their best to get well equipped for the deadly journey. While water and snacks are desideratum, the transporters also go with mechanics, should the vehicle break down in the desert. However, there are very dreadful situations in which a vehicle that developed fault in the desert would require changing some parts.
This could be the most traumatizing fate that could befall anyone travelling through the desert. When such happens, Onyekamma said the driver and his crew would abandon the emigrants in the desert and make their way back to Niger with a promise of returning with the vehicle parts. In some cases, Onyekamma submitted that the emigrants were abandoned for weeks. In such cruel situation, the travellers are left stranded and at the mercy of death, as they run out of water and snacks. Dehydration would set in, and they would be ready to drink anything liquid, including urine, in a battle for survival. But would the urine even be available? Onyekamma said it was at the desert he realized men slide into dehydration faster than women.
“When you run out of water in the desert, you would be desperate to drink anything liquid. It was at the desert I observed that a woman’s body had more water than that of a man. Men fell into dehydration faster than women. We begged women to try to urinate for us to drink to gain some strength. Whoever is able to urinate then, becomes a saviour.
“Out of every 50 persons going through the desert, only about 20 could survive”, he narrated.
Life in Libya
After about two weeks in the desert, Onyekamma finally arrived Libya. At the North African country, he went for training on vehicle alignment, and was able to master it within a short time. With the job, he could raise money to feed. But he was overcome by the sight of the terrifying Mediterranean Sea. He therefore, decided to go through the desert again to return to Nigeria, rather than heading to Italy.
“When I saw the boat they use in conveying people to Europe and the rampaging Mediterranean Sea, I became terrified and decided to return to Nigeria. I felt it was more dangerous stepping on the sea, than returning to the desert. That was how I returned to Nigeria in 2005”.
Return to Nigeria
Today, Onyekamma, a father of five, having survived in the desert, believes nothing can kill him except God says it’s time. Unfortunately, he is yet to conquer money for which he soldiered through the desert. He is still struggling with the vicissitudes of life. While hoping that some day, life would get better, he holds that desert should never be an option for anyone who values life.
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