Bloody Sunday: Gunmen run berserk in Borno, Kaduna, Rivers

Bloody Sunday: Gunmen run berserk in Borno, Kaduna, Rivers
Charles Nwoke, South-East, Nigeria
April 26, 2021 

Image courtesy of local sources. Fair use. 

Yesterday, the troubled North-West region of Nigeria was bloody after bandits attacked Haske Baptist Church in Chikun Local Government Area Council of Kaduna State, killing two persons while many Christian faithful were kidnapped.

Before the attack yesterday, all tiers of educational institutions have been serially targeted and attacked.

An unspecified number of worshippers equally sustained various degrees of wounds with a medical doctor, Zakariah Dogo Yaro, of the Kaduna State Ministry of Health, among those killed during the unfortunate raid.

The church, located in the Manini Tasha community, Kuriga Ward of the local government area, was attacked around 9:00 am by the hoodlums.

Samuel Aruwan, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, confirmed the incident.

An eyewitness and a congregant of the church, Yakubu Bala, told newsmen that the bandits stormed the church and surrounded it before they started shooting sporadically at worshipers who scampered for safety in different directions.

According to Bala, gunshots were heard everywhere, throwing worshipers into hullabaloo.

“One worshipper was gunned down.

“Dr. Zakariah Dogo Yaro was shot dead and an unspecified number of people were kidnapped. Many worshipers sustained injuries. As I am talking to you now, we have not seen some of the villagers who ran into the bush. Most of the villagers have fled to neighboring villages,” he said.

In another development, bandits attacked the Bagoma community in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area Council of the state and killed six residents of the community.

Also, bandits attacked Amfu village in Kachia Local Government Area Council where they shot a woman to death.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai while reacting to the incident, condemned the attack on a place of worship in Chikun and other parts of the state. He described them as shocking acts of depraved people far removed from humanity.

The governor who roundly denounced the attack on the church added that attacking innocent worshipers, who were exercising their natural and lawful rights to assembly, represented the worst kind of evil.

He prayed for the repose of the souls of the slain victims and speedy recovery for the injured.

We had earlier this month reported to you that tens of students were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen at Greenfield University, with three of them later confirmed dead at the weekend. This was after over 30 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in the Afaka area of the state were abducted, which we as well reported to you.

Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter, Reverend Caleb Ma’aji, while reacting to the development, said their hearts are saddened over the sorry state of the security situation in the state and the country in general.

“Today, innocent worshipers who went out for nothing but to worship and pray to God were attacked, a medical doctor and one other person killed, many members injured and others taken into captivity. This is happening in a nation that her constitution allows freedom of religion yet this freedom is not guaranteed.

“We are appealing to relevant agencies and praying for the safe release of the abducted members and indeed all others in captivity. The Kaduna State Government and the FG should stop making noise about insecurity and simply act now before Nigerians will have no option than to turn to self-help.”

In a similar development, unknown gunmen have attacked security checkpoints along the busy Port Harcourt-Owerri Road, killing eight security agents in Rivers State.

According to sources, the gunmen, who started their operations around 8:00 pm on Saturday, attacked four checkpoints from Elele to Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area Council of the State.

Out of the eight slain security agents, three were said to be military officials, three customs personnel, and two police officers. Some were reportedly decapitated while others were burnt beyond recognition by the criminals.

Sources revealed that the gunmen penetrated Omagwa and Elele through the border towns in Imo State. They were said to have marched through the bush paths and ambushed the security men on duty.

A police situation report dated April 25, identified the gunmen as members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB). One of the attacked checkpoints located along Airport Road Omagwa belonged to the Joint Task Force (JTF) and was manned by nine police officers and two soldiers.

It was gathered that two burnt lifeless bodies of security operatives were later recovered at the JTF checkpoint, which was scattered and burnt by the gunmen. According to the report, the rampaging unknown gunmen, later attacked a checkpoint of the Nigeria Customs Service at Isiokpo killing three customs men at the spot.

They were said to have proceeded to attack the Police Area Command at Isiokpo but were staved off by stouthearted police officers on duty.

Nnamdi Omoni, the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), confirmed the attacks on police checkpoints but failed to mention the number of casualties recorded in the attack.

He said, “I can confirm the attack on security personnel along the Omagwa/Isiokpo/Elele Owerri Road. Details are sketchy.

“The Commissioner of Police has launched a full-scale investigation into the dastardly attack with a view to arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to justice. Meanwhile, the area is calm with reinforced and increased joint patrols of that stretch and other areas in the state by the security.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Security Officer of Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike, has condoled with the security agencies and families of the slain security agents over the loss of their loved ones.

Wike, who spoke in a statement issued by Kelvin Ebiri, his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, condemned the killings and described it as a barbaric and dastardly attack.

The Governor said there is no justification for such a heinous, condemnable and inhuman act and attack targeted against innocent security personnel on the legitimate duty of shielding and protecting lives and properties in the state.

He charged the security operatives to be at alert, as he affirmed that the government and good people of Rivers are in solidarity with security agencies at this perilous time of unwarranted and mindless crisis against them.

Still yesterday, terrorists confronted Nigerian Military Forces at their base in Mainok village of Kaga Local Government Area Council, Borno State.

The extremists swooped into the military base around 3:00 pm with an intention to the base to loot arms and ammunition, but the troops stood their ground and rebutted the raid with severe casualties reportedly inflicted on the insurgents.

This was after the Islamist terrorists had attacked residents leaving scores dead. The terrorists who came in no fewer than 15 gun trucks razed down the military super camp in the community.

This attack is coming few days after we reported to you that terrorists raided Geidam, the Headquarters of Geidam Local Government Area Council of Yobe State and hometown of the acting Inspector-General of Police, Baba Alkali, where they have reportedly hoisted flags.

No fewer than 35 people have been kidnapped and herds of cattle rustled as unidentified gunmen suspected to be bandits attacked Chiri Boda and Fuka in Shiroro Local Government Area councils of Niger State.

The unfortunate incident, which took place in the early hours of yesterday left many villagers in total confusion as many of them scampered into different directions in the bush for the safety of their lives.

The bandits invaded the villages on motorcycles.

Alhaji Mohammad Awaisu, the Niger Concerned Citizens’ Chairman, who confirmed the incident, revealed that 10 out of the 15 wards in Shiroro Local Government Area Council were under the control of the devilish bandits.

He explained that the only five wards that were not under bandits’ control include the following: Gusoro Zumba, Bongajiya, Bina, Sheyi Lapa, and Ubandoma, but were mostly habited by the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from various wards of the council areas seeking temporary refuge.

The attack came just 48 hours after the Deputy Governor of the state, Ahmed Ketso paid a visit to the IDPs camp in Gwada and lamented that security issues in the state were overwhelming.