Bandits on the fringes attack Zamfara air force patrol, Kogi rally
Suspected bandits raged during the week and attacked at least three sacred institutions in the country: the Kogi State House of Assembly Complex; Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State; and the Nigerian Air Force in the state of Zamfara.
Bandits attacked a patrol team in Zamfara state on Thursday Operation Hadarin Daji, comprised of agents from the Nigerian Air Force and special police forces, located in Bundugu state.
Two security guards, a police inspector and an NAF agent identified as James Okpu, died in an encounter between the troops and the bandits. Seven bandits are said to have been killed in the arms duel.
Sunday PUNCH learned that the incident occurred at a time when the no-fly zone policy ordered by the President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retired), to restrict bandit activities in the state, was still in force.
Okpu’s family and friends have been on social media to mourn him ever since.
His brother Maro Okpu, who published the pictures of the deceased, wrote: “Why now, brother? You never planned to let go that hard. (You are) always in our hearts, little brother. Take a rest. ”
Another family member, simply identified as Paul, also continued to write Facebook, “Gone too early, my own James Azabanabhelam Egbogba Okpu.”
Meanwhile, a relative of Okpu, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that a military officer close to the family brought the news to him first.
The relative claimed that the commandant of the deceased’s unit later called to pity the bereaved family.
The source said, “I received a call on Thursday from someone claiming to be the commandant of the deceased. He asked about my well-being and asked if I had heard what happened to my brother. I told him I heard. Then he said, ‘Take courage. I’m so sorry. May his soul rest in peace. ‘ I hit my phone on the floor and started crying.
“The deceased was a young man. He has been the pillar of our family since we lost our parents. He joined the Air Force to provide for the family. One of my brothers met me crying. He picked up the phone and called the commandant.
“He didn’t tell me much about what they were discussing. He just said we should go to Abuja. I called the commandant’s number on Friday in the presence of the family elders for information about his death. The commandant said I should call back, but we haven’t been able to talk to each other since then. ”
Upon contact, the NAF Public Relations and Information Director, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed that a patrol team was from Operation Hadarin Daji was attacked by bandits near Bundugu, Zamfara state.
Gabkwet said the troops killed seven bandits but lost two employees, including an NAF agent.
He said: “There was no attack on the NAF base in Zamfara state. Instead, a patrol team from Operation Hadarin Daji, consisting of members of the armed forces and special police forces, was attacked by bandits near Bundugu.
“As usual, our troops repelled the attack and killed seven bandits. Unfortunately we lost one of our brave aviators and a police inspector. ”
Gabkwet, meanwhile, debunked reports that armed men attacked the Kaduna air base on Saturday.
He said this in a statement entitled “No attempted attack on the NAF base in Kaduna”.
The statement reads: “Fake news dealers are back. This time, their focus is on the main Nigerian air force base in Kaduna, which they claimed to have opened in the early hours of Nov.
“The public should please ignore the message as it is completely wrong. There was nothing like the residents of the entire base going about their normal business without any threat. ”
Referring to Saturday’s attacks, the Nigerian Army said Division 8 forces neutralized several suspected bandits in the Talata Maraf community of Zamfara state.
The army said the bandits and troops waged a violent shootout while patrolling the villages of Mayanchi-Dogo, Karfe and Fagantama in the state.
In a statement, Army Public Relations director Onyema Nwachukwu said troops also killed five bandits and injured others in a separate operation in Bungudu, Zamfara state.
The declaration was entitled: “Troops of the Nigerian army neutralize numerous bandits in violent encounters, and they recover weapons and ammunition.”
It read: “In the violent encounter that followed, the bandits were overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the troops.
“This resulted in dozens of bandits being neutralized. The troops also captured a PKT rifle, a large supply of ammunition and a motorcycle.
“In this context, troops neutralized five bandits at another encounter in the village of Bingi in the Bungudu parish of Zamfara state. During the arms duel, the bandits withdrew in disorder after suffering serious gunshot wounds. The brave troops captured an AK-47 rifle, a motorcycle and three cell phones from the evicted criminals. ”
Bandits break into the Congregation’s Kogi house
In a similar development, bandits raided the Kogi State House of Assembly Complex on Friday and carted away millions of naira worth of property.
Congregation Kogi House spokesman Matthew Kolawole, who confirmed the incident in an interview with one of our correspondents, said: “Some gunmen broke into the congregation on Friday and ran away with armored cables, televisions, and other office valuables. ”
Kolawole expressed concern about the development, saying that the bandit invasion exposed the complex’s porous security.
“Security officers assigned to the Assembly Complex should sit down to do their duty or be interrogated in the House of Assembly Complex for failing to protect life and property,” the spokesman warned.
Kolawole appealed to the state security agencies to ensure the arrest of those who broke into the gathering in order to avert future incidents.
However, he expressed his joy that no life was lost in the attack.
Ondo-Uni closed as crooks, robbing students, rape
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State, has ordered the institution to close for two weeks after the flood of uncertainty on campus.
The development followed a student protest last Thursday to express displeasure with the incessant robberies in their dormitories, the rape of female students by gangsters, and the threats to their lives and property.
A source told one of our correspondents that about four college students have been raped by gangsters in the past two weeks.
The school’s student union president Damilola Okunomo confirmed the rape of some students and said they were tired of the insecurity in the school environment.
Aside from raping female students at gunpoint, Okunomo said that many students had been confiscated of their valuables such as phones, laptops, and other devices.
He said, “We are fed up with uncertainty. Usually gangsters come into our off-campus dormitories, rob students at gunpoint, and rape our students.
“The school management is not doing enough, as we usually protect ourselves by working as a vigilante. The situation is terrible.
“We urge the school management to do their best to secure us and complete all unfinished hostel accommodation on campus.”
In response, OAUSTECH’s Dean of Studies, Mr Ilemobayo Oguntimehin, stated that the school administration was doing its best to protect the lives and property of the students.
Similarly, the university’s public relations officer, Mr Abdulazeez Adebayo, said the school had already taken steps to ensure the safety of students’ lives and property.
He said, “It is true that the students protested peacefully and the school was closed. Management will meet with all traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the communities about student safety.
“In a few days the school will organize a safety summit that will be attended by all stakeholders in the region.”
Destroy terrorist enclaves, COAS storms troops
Meanwhile, Major General Faruk Yahaya, Chief of Army Staff, had attacked Sector 2 Joint Task Force Northeast. Operation Hadin Kaito destroy all enclaves of Boko Haram Province and the Islamic State of West Africa in their various locations.
The COAS said so when speaking to troops in Yobe state on Saturday, according to a statement from the Army Public Relations Director Nwachukwu.
The declaration was entitled: “Destroy all Boko Haram terrorist enclaves at your locations, COAS invites troops to Yobe.”
It read in part: “General Yahaya also commended the forces for the several successful operations carried out under Sector 2 responsibility, which he enumerated as operations”. Ayiso Tamunoma, Katana Jimlan, fireball, and Tura Takaibango.
“He urged the troops to use their experience and experience from the series of operations to destroy the remains of marauding terrorists in their various locations.
“He assured them of improved welfare and a new system of rewards for troops who perform valiantly in every operation.”
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