*Explains how Acting Inspector-General of Police was chosen
*36 govs to engage federal authorities at political, security level — FAYEMI
*Bandits kill four as Katsina residents, vigilantes kill 30 bandits
*Herdsmen hack farmer to death in Ibarapa
*Kidnappers, killer herdsmen have taken over our farms – Ibarapa hunters
*Redeploy Oyo CP for effective security, safety, Gani Adams tells Ag. IGP
*We’re worried over attacks on security formations in Imo, Benue —NGF
By Dapo Akinrefon, Bashir Bello, Adeola Badru & Femi Bolaji
President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that the new service chiefs were doing their best to contend with the security situation in the country.
Buhari, who spoke in an interview with newsmen shortly on arrival from his medical trip to the United Kingdom, also gave an insight into how the new Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Usman Baba, was appointed.
On the performance of the new service chiefs so far, the President said: “Oh yes, they have been in the system all the way, they know what is wrong, they know what is right and I think they are doing their best. I hope their best will be good enough for Nigeria.”
Also fielding questions on his expectations from the new IGP he appointed while in London, Buhari said: “Well, we went through the system, there was a committee by the Minister of Police Affairs.
“They gave me some names and he happened to be the one chosen. He knows his job, he has been in it for a long time, he went through all the training, he has the necessary experience. So, we have a high expectation from him.”
On what Nigerians should expect from his administration going forward, after his rest in London, the President said, “continuity.”
Asked how he felt after the medical checkup in London, he simply said: “Yes, it went very well, after your good wishes.”
The presidential aircraft conveying him and some presidential aides landed at the Presidential Wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 4.45 p.m
President Buhari had on March 30, departed Abuja for London, United Kingdom, for a routine medical check-up.
Present at the airport to welcome the president included the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammed Bello, and the National Security Adviser, NSA, to the President, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd).
Others were the Service Chiefs, the Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufa’i, the Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Yusuf Bichi and other presidential aides.
After a brief welcoming ceremony at the airport, the President boarded a presidential helicopter that conveyed him to the Presidential Villa.
3 Policemen, 12 others killed
The prevailing ill-wind of insecurity continued to blow across five of the six geo-political zones of the country, including North-East, North-Central, South-West, North-West and South-East, Wednesday night and yesterday, leaving deaths on its trail, and forcing the 36 governors of the country to seek immediate review of the security situation.
No fewer than 15 persons, including three policemen, were killed in various attacks launched by gunmen and suspected herdsmen in Katsina, Ebonyi, Taraba and Oyo state just as residents and vigilantes killed 30 bandits in reprisal attacks in Katsina.
Govs seek review of security challenges
The governors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, have called for a special preview of the nation’s security challenges for an in-depth understanding of the enormity of the situation.
They made the call on Wednesday night at a meeting presided over by the NGF chairman and Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, at the State House, Abuja.
Briefing reporters after the meeting which lasted till about midnight, Governor Fayemi explained that a special review of the security crisis was necessary to further engage the federal authorities at the political and security levels to find a solution to insecurity in the land.
He noted the rising concerns by the forum, following incidents of attack on correctional and police facilities in Imo State, the killing of soldiers in Benue, and successive acts of violence across the country, among others.
Govs worried over attacks on security formations in Imo, Benue – Fayemi
“NGF members are particularly worried following what happened in Imo State, the attacks on the correctional facility and the Police command headquarters.
“The release of prisoners, and successive acts of violence and insecurity across the country, and the killings of soldiers at Benue.
“The forum has expressed its worry that it is time for us to revisit comprehensively, the nature and depth of this security crisis.
“The crisis would have gotten worse if states had not been taking the actions they have been taking individually and collectively.
“It is the steps taken at the state level that have managed to reduce the depths and the enormity of the security challenges. Nonetheless, it’s still a worrisome development for us. We feel we will need a special review of the entire gamut of the security issues that we are dealing with.
“We need to further engage the federal authorities both at the political level and federal authorities at the security level, in order to deal with this multi-faceted challenges of security that we’re faced.”
Gunmen kill three policemen in Ebonyi
Three police officers were shot dead in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, by gunmen, who attacked the officers around 8pm on Wednesday at a checkpoint on Onuebonyi/Nwezenyi Road.
The officers were rushed to Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital where they were confirmed dead.
Their bodies have been deposited at the hospital’s mortuary.
The Ebonyi Police Command confirmed the killing of the three operatives.
Loveth Odah, the Ebonyi police spokesperson, said the gunmen pretended to be holding a burial rite before they carried out the attack.
She said they drove around the area in a tricycle before opening fire on the policemen.
“Right now, the investigation is ongoing and we are committed to bringing the perpetrators to book,” she said.
Odah appealed to the public to support the fight against crime by providing useful information to the police and other security agencies in the state.
Four killed in fresh Taraba attacks
Barely two days after gunmen killed one person at Ikyaior village in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State, gunmen, Wednesday night, killing four persons in separate attacks in the area.
A resident, Mr Msuuve Aondoakaa, told Vanguard on the phone that the gunmen, numbering about 20, invaded Tor-Iorshagher village at about 9:30 pm, killing one person and injuring several others.
Aondoakaa, who lamented series of unprovoked attacks in the area, called on Governor Darius Ishaku to find a lasting solution to the insecurity in the area.
In another attack, in nearby Rafinkada, Mrs Joy Audu said three persons were killed on Wednesday night by unknown gunmen, while others sustained bullet wounds.
Chairman of the Local Government Council, Mr Daniel Adi, confirmed the two attacks in a telephone conversation.
Adi, who said he had visited the two villages and directed that the dead bodies be buried, noted that he had convened a security meeting, with a view to finding a solution to the incessant attacks and killings in the area.
“Yes, one person was killed in Tor-Iorshagher, while one was wounded. Three persons were killed in Rafinkada and two sustained injuries. I am just back from Tor-Iorshagher and Rafinkada villages where the attacks happened. The two communities are relatively calm and we are going to have a security meeting to discuss a way forward,” he said.
Gunmen kill four as Katsina residents, vigilantes kill 30 bandits in a reprisal attack
In Katsina, gunmen suspected to be bandits killed a former Director of Education and Social Service at Danmusa Local Government Service Commission, Alhaji Yaro Lawal, in his home in the Danmusa area of Katsina State.
In another development, the bandits reportedly killed three persons in the Kankara area of the state, while the residents and vigilantes in a reprisal attack killed 30 bandits.
A source in the Danmusa area said the bandits on Wednesday evening, stormed Lawal’s house when he and others were breaking the Muslim Ramadan fast. They attempted to take him away on their motorcycle. He resisted and the bandits shot him.
The source said most of the people around fled for safety.
“At about 7:30 pm, the bandits met him alongside a few people in the frontage of his house which is a stone throw from the Police station. They (bandits) ordered him to climb one of the motorcycles and follow them which he refused. The bandits shot Alhaji severally. He was rushed to the hospital but died on the way,” the source said.
Similarly, another source in Kankara said on Monday, the bandits attacked Majifa village, killed three persons and the villagers put calls to surrounding villages who laid ambush and killed no fewer than 30 of the bandits.
The source said: “The bandits came to Majifa village where they killed three persons. However, the villagers decided to put calls through to their neighbouring villages who gathered and laid ambush for the bandits in Kokarawa village. And in the process, they killed over 30 bandits,” he said.
At press time efforts to confirm the incidents from the Police did not yield results. Calls to the phone number of the spokesperson, Katsina State Police Command, SP Gambo Isah, rang out without reply.
Farmer hacked to death by suspected herdsmen in Ibarapa
There was tension in the Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State, yesterday, following the killing of a 56-year-old farmer, Muftau Babarinde, in the area.
Vanguard gathered that Babarinde was hacked to death by suspected herdsmen at Orita-Merin, Konko village in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of the state.
This happened on a day the Aare-Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, urged the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Alkali Baba, to urgently redeploy Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, for effective security of the state.
Panic in Ibarapa
The incident, which has thrown the people of Tapa, where the deceased hailed from, into confusion, was said to have happened at about 7 pm on Wednesday.
Babarinde, it was gathered, had gone to his farm to give his labourers food and was returning home when the hoodlums waylaid and killed him.
Some residents said they could not say what was responsible for the killing of the farmer, who they said was very popular in the area, claiming that those responsible were some of those who were sent packing when Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, and vigilantes stormed the residence of alleged kidnap kingpin, Iskilu Wakili, to arrest him in February.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Adewale Osifeso, confirmed the incident, saying more information would be made public as the investigation has commenced.
Some of the people in the area, including the Convener, Igangan Development Advocates, Oladiran Oladokun, also confirmed the killing.
In an interview with Vanguard, Oladokun said the man was killed by suspected herdsmen, adding that the killing had thrown the area into a panic.
“This has shown to the public we don’t have any security again. The government and security agencies have failed us. We can’t sleep with our two eyes closed any longer,” he lamented.
Gani Adams to Ag. IG: Redeploy Oyo CP for effective security, safety
Meanwhile, the Aare- Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Adams, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, urged immediate redeployment of the Oyo State Commissioner of Police. He made the call while hosting a delegation of Ibarapa indigenes, led by the chairman of Ibarapa Hunters in Oke-Ogun, Alhaji Bilau Dare.
Two weeks ago, he charged the IGP and the Police Service Commission, PSC, to look into the security situation in the state, including the various criminal activities of herdsmen that had taken over Ibarapa and its environs.
Speaking shortly after the meeting, Adams said the meeting was to respond to the various security challenges in the area, adding that the delegation came to give an update on the security situation in Ibarapa and its environs.
Aare Adams said: “From the reports available to me, I think the call for the redeployment of Oyo CP is long overdue. It is long overdue because nothing seems to have changed since the kidnap kingpin, Iskilu Wakili, was arrested and handed over to the Police.
“It is said that nothing has really changed. Up till today, cases of kidnappings and killings still continue unabated. That is to show that the CP has lost grip of the state. I said the other time that Oyo State is too volatile for a gentle cop and everybody can see it now that the police boss cannot handle the security situation of a crisis-prone state like Oyo, where the crime rate on a daily basis is very high and ridiculous.
“So I am appealing to the new acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to listen to the cry of the people of Ibarapa who could no longer go to their farms and live their normal lives because of fear of being kidnapped or killed by herdsmen. All available evidence showed that the CP cannot handle the security challenges in the state.”
Kidnappers, killer herdsmen have taken over our farms – Ibarapa hunters
In his remarks, the chairman of hunters in Ibarapa, Alhaji Bilau Dare, said the group came to visit the Aare- Ona-Kakanfo to find a lasting solution to the security situation in the state.
Dare expressed disappointment at the spate of insecurity in Oke-Ogun, stressing that killings and kidnappings in Ibarapa and its environs were getting worse daily, adding that he lost his younger brother, Mufutau Babarinde, yesterday, as a result of herdsmen attacks.
His words: “I am bereaved. I lost my younger brother, Mufutau Babarinde. He was returning from his farm when four criminal herdsmen accosted him and hacked him to death. We have reported the case to the police and his remains had been deposited in the morgue.
“That is how it has been on daily basis. Kidnappers and killer herdsmen have taken over our farms and we can’t go to our farms any longer because of fear of being kidnapped.”
Also speaking, a chieftain of the OPC in Ibarapa, Comrade Olanrewaju Ogedengbe, lamented that despite the efforts of his members to support the police in curbing the spate of insecurity in the state, the police have failed to unravel those behind the various killings and kidnappings in Ibarapa and its environs.
Ogedengbe said: “It is unfortunate that our men are still in police custody. How do you explain the story of our men who risked their lives during a gun battle with the kidnappers and at the end of the encounter, the police arrested and detained them unjustly?”