President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday bemoaned the killings in the country that have worsened the nation’s security challenges.
The president, in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, condoled with the relatives of those who lost their lives in what he called madness going on nationwide.
The killings continued at the weekend as bandits murdered no fewer than 11 persons in Katsina and Kaduna States.
Also, gunmen sustained their attacks on police facilities in the South-east as they hit a police station in Umuahia, Abia State capital.
Buhari, who called for a low-key Eid al-Fitr celebration as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic said: “As Muslims in Nigeria join others globally in preparations towards Eid al-Fitr, a day that is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, President Buhari has directed that all celebrations are limited due to the global Coronavirus crisis.
“To this end, the president, first family, his personal aides, members of the cabinet and service chiefs who choose to remain in Abuja will congregate in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa, Abuja to observe the Eid prayers by 9:00 am.
“Thereafter, there will be no traditional Sallah homage to the president by religious, community and political leaders
as was the case last year, the president encouraged such leaders to be content with modest celebrations at home in view of the pandemic.”
Buhari thanked Islamic clerics and other religious leaders who continue to pray for the wellbeing of the nation and its people.
The president called on all local leaders to talk to their youths and warn them against being used to incite and foment violence, saying that “if we attack institutions guarding us, who will protect us in future emergencies?”
Bandits Kill 11, Injure Three in Kaduna, Katsina
Meanwhile, no fewer than 11 persons were confirmed killed while three others were injured by bandits in a fresh reprisal by suspected bandits at Tsatskiya community in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State and another separate attack by gunmen in Kaduna.
A retired army sergeant, his wife and daughter-in-law were killed in the Kaduna incident.
The bandits who attacked Katsina community on Saturday were believed to be avenging a mob action against two of the bandits’ informants who were reportedly killed by some people in the community.
The bandits, who were said to have invaded the community in the afternoon, also wounded three others who are currently receiving treatment at a Dutsinma town hospital.
Residents confirmed that the bandits were on a reprisal over the recent killing of their informants.
One of the informants was said to have been killed four days ago in a nearby community called Hakon Kartakawa.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Gambo Isah, a superintendent of police, confirmed the incident yesterday.
“During the attack, two people were equally wounded and are still receiving medical attention at Dutsinma General Hospital,” he said.
Following the attack, the residents of Tsatskiya community and other neighbouring villages fled the village to Dutsinma town for safety.
In another incident, a retired army sergeant, Christopher Madaki, his wife and daughter-in-law were killed by bandits following an attack on Golkofa community, Jama’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
However, his son, Mr. Clement Madaki, was only injured.
Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the killings in a statement yesterday in Kaduna.
Aruwan said the killings took place on Saturday night when bandits invaded the community.
The commissioner also said a breakdown of law and order was averted in Kachia town, headquarters of Kachia LGA following the alleged killing of one Hamidu Nura by one Abba Muhammad.
Aruwan said the killings in Golkofa were reported to the state government by the Kaduna State Police Command and the Defence Headquarters outfit “Operation Safe Haven.”
Also yesterday, gunmen attacked a police station, named after a former Inspector-General (IG), Mr. Mike Okiro, in Umuahia.
The news of the attack caused pandemonium in the town as churches abruptly ended their services to enable worshippers flee to safety.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state command, Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident while speaking with THISDAY on phone.
He said the attack occurred at 9.45 am, adding that the attackers came in a bus and two Sienna SUVs.
He stated that a police officer was shot and wounded in the leg during the attack.
According to the PPRO, the building was not burnt as the roof did not catch fire when torched.
However, he said the hoodlums invaded the offices and gathered files, documents and furniture and set them ablaze. Also, two vehicles and two motorcycles on the premises were burnt.
The attack on the Mike Okiro Police Station was the first such incident in Umuahia although no fewer than four police stations have been razed in the state this year.