Bandits, kidnappers take Nigeria hostage

..Abduct Nasarawa CAN Chairman Bishop Masin

…Kill 74 in Sokoto

.Buhari directs fierce military operations

.Naval Officer regains freedom after 10 days

With the seemingly shift of attention from the deadly activities of kidnappers, killer herdsmen and bandits to concentrate on combating coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria appears to be suffering heavier loses from insurgency with more people been either killed by bandits who over run communities and high profile kidnapping.

With the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NDCD) confirming 254 deaths from COVID-19 since February 27, 2020 when Nigeria recorded her coronavirus index case, analysts are unanimous that more Nigerians have been killed by the activities of bandits within the same period. They regretted that in the face of concentration of human and material resources on containing the coronavirus pandemic, gaps were created which have enabled bandits and kidnappers to take charge in the nation’s porous communities

It is against this background that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Thursday raised the alarm that gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have taken away its  Nasarawa State Chapter chairman Bishop Joseph Masin. Can said that Bishop Masin was abducted Wednesday night from his residence.

This is coming months after the Adamawa State chairman of CAN, Rev. Lawan Andimi was beheaded by the Boko Haram after the terrorist demanded for a ransom of two million Pounds. The kidnappers had rejected an offer of N50m before going ahead to behead the cleric.

Nasarawa State Commissioner of police, Bola Longe who confirmed the kidnap of the Bishop said the abductors of the CAN Chairman went with him on motorcycles.

He said few minutes to the hour of twelve, Wednesday night, gunmen stormed the residence of the Chairman at Bukan Sidi area of Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital and whisked him away to an unknown destination.

Bola Longe added that the police have intensified surveillance ensure immediate release of Mister Masin.

This is even as the Commissioner of Police, Ondo State Command Undie Adie said a Naval Officer, Lt Commander Ajare Uchegbulah Amadi kidnapped by men of the underworld along Ago Ajayi, Oba Akoko road, Ondo State on May 17, 2020 has been released.

He was released in the early hours of Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

CP Adie said his release was sequel to the aggressive manhunt the Command and other sister agencies placed on his abductors, who on realizing that there was no place to hide any longer, abandoned him in the forest and took to their heels.

CP Adie warned travelers within this period to strictly adhere to the travel ban on inter State movement imposed by the Federal government as a means to curtail the spread of COVID-19, as these bad boys are using the advantage of the empty roads to advance their nefarious acts.

He ,however, said that the Ondo Police Command will never be that State that criminals would operate in without being tracked down.

CP Adie enjoined the good citizens of the State to go about their normal businesses, while urging them to always stay safe by keeping social distancing as they adhere to the directives of both the State and the Federal government on ways to stop the spread of COVID-19

And further seeks their supports in useful information sharing to enable the Command provide adequate and reliable policing of Ondo State.

In another development, resident of the three villages in Sokoto attacked by gunmen, Wednesday said the death toll has risen to 74.

At Garki Village, 25 people were killed while at Dan Aduwa Village, 13 persons were slaughtered.

The assailants also killed six persons in Kutama Village while one person was abducted by the gunmen.

At Kuzari Village, the bodies of 25 persons were found while at Masawa Village five persons including children were killed.

Those severely injured are currently receiving treatment at Sabon Birni General Hospital.

It was gathered the bodies of those killed are currently being prepared for burial.

The villagers affected have fled to safety and families are not sure of the fate of their loved ones.

Some residents of the affected villages alleged that some of the armed attackers were herders, who used the occasion to attack farmers preventing them from grazing their herd on their farmlands.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed military operation in Sokoto.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu on Thursday

The statement entitled: “Sokoto Attacks: President Buhari Commiserates With Victims, Directs Fierce Military Operation”, stated: “President Muhammadu Buhari condoles with families who lost loved ones in an attack by bandits in Sabon Birni Local Government, Sokoto State, praying for the quick recovery of those that sustained injuries.

“As the world and Nigeria battle Coronavirus pandemic, it is tragic and unfortunate that bandits have remained active in parts of the country, killing innocent people and throwing families into despair.

“We will not abandon you to your fate because we are determined to bring these mass murderers to their knees and crush them totally.

“The President notes that a major military operation code named “Operation Accord” was launched by the military, targeting the bandits that had been tormenting North-West and North Central states.

“This operation will be a full time and sustained military offensive that is intended to deny the bandits any breathing space to reorganize and regroup.

“President Buhari reassures Nigerians that the government is determined to protect them against “remorseless psychopathic mass killers who have no regard for the sanctity of life.’’

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