Less than a week after the advanced convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari was attacked by bandits in his home state, Katsina, witnesses to the incident have disclosed that the same criminal group had carried out a similar operation moments earlier.
Last Tuesday, the convoy, which conveyed security guards, protocol and media professionals, ran into the bandits on the approach to Kun Kana, a village in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State, but were repelled by the military and operatives of the Department of State Services escorting the convoy. According to a statement by a presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu shortly after the incident, a few people died in the attack, while two persons sustained injuries.
A resident of Kun Kana community, Jamilu Aliyu Charanci, who said he witnessed the incident, told The Nation that he and a few other people were going to Dutsin-ma from nearby Kankara village when they saw the bandits crossing the road on motorcycles in droves and causing everyone to scamper into safety.
Charanci said that while some of them ran to nearby Turare village, others hid in the bush. According to him, shortly after the President’s advanced convoy passed and ran into the bandits, who immediately opened fire.
Charanci said: “We were all terrified as we had the sound of gunshots. I was practically freezing where I hid myself because we feared that a lot of lives must have been lost.
“It turned out, however, that no life was lost in that particular incident. I was also able to make my journey to Dutsin-ma because a military convoy cleared the way”.
But on the same day, Assistant Commissioner of Police Aminu Umar, an Area Commander of the Nigeria Police, was killed by bandits along with one other police officer in Zakka forest, which is close to Dutsin-ma.
He said: “At about 1130 hours, a distress call was received that terrorists numbering over 300, on motorcycles, shooting sporadically with AK 47 rifles and General Purpose Machine Guns ambushed ACP Aminu Umar, Area Commander, Dutsin-ma, and his team, while on clearance operation of recalcitrant bandits/terrorists, in Zakka forest, Safana LGA of Katsina State.
“Consequently, the Area Commander and one other gallantly lost their lives during an exchange of gunfire”.
Meanwhile in response to the security situation, the Katsina Emirate Council has halted the traditional Durbar, which marks the end of the major Muslim festivals, including the Eid-el-Kabir. The Durbar is held in several northern cities including Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zaria, Bauchi, Bida and Ilorin.
In a statement issued by its Assistant Secretary, Alhaji Sule Mamman-Dee, the Katsina Emirate Council said the decision was taken in view of the current security situation in the state. According to Mamman-Dee, the Emir, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir-Usman expressed deep concern over the security situation in parts of the emirate, saying that he would only attend the Eid prayers on Saturday.
The statement stated that the Emir advised Muslims to continue to pray for the return of peace to the state and country in general.
The spokesperson of Daura Emirate Council in the state, Alhaji Usman Ibrahim, told newsmen in Daura that the council had also suspended the durbar across the emirate. According to Ibrahim, the Emir, Alhaji Faruk Umar-Faruk directed all the district heads under the emirate to perform their Eid-El Kabir prayers in their domains.
Katsina residents told The Nation that they endorsed the cancellation of the Durbar given the rising security challenges in the state, which peaked with Tuesday’s attack on Buhari’s convoy.
Source: The Nation