Bandits kill 90-yr-old man, 2 others in Gombe night raid

THE Gombe State police command has confirmed violent attacks on Pobawure and Amtawalam villages in Biliri Local Government Area of the state. 

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Oqua Etim, confirming the attacks to newsmen on Friday, said three people, including a 90-year-old man, were killed in the attacks which were carried out on Thursday night. 

According to Etim, three other people were injured and were receiving treatment in the hospital, even calm has returned to the areas. The commissioner said the old man was sleeping when the bandits set his hut on fire. Scores of houses and food stores were reportedly burnt during the attacks. 

He said: “We have three casualties, a 90-year-old-man that was burnt in his hut while two younger persons were savagely macheted and killed. We also have three injured persons.” “We should divorce politics from criminalities. Political activities are going on smoothly but criminality in every society is an ongoing process and we are nipping it at the bud.” 

The state governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, on Friday visited the attacked communities to assess the level of destruction and to sympathise with the residents and present relief materials to them. Yahaya, who hinted at the possible establishment of a security post in the area, described the attacks as unfortunate. 

He said his government would not shy away from its responsibility of protecting the lives and property of the people, which he emphasised is the primary function of any government. 

The governor said: “Security of lives and property of the citizenry always tops our government’s priorities. Government is established to serve two purposes: protection of lives and properties of the people and bringing about development. This is what our government stands for. “We are also looking at possibility of establishing a mobile police base to increase the presence of security operatives in the region.” 

The governor noted that insecurity is a challenge in almost every part of the country, calling on the people to intensify efforts towards participating in community policing to complement the efforts of security operatives. 

“What is happening today in the North-West where cattle rustling, banditry and kidnappings have become rampant will not be allowed in Gombe State. People should be vigilant of new faces in their neighbourhoods and report any suspicious persons or movements to relevant authorities,” he said. 

Earlier, the chairperson of Billiri Local Government Council, Mrs Margaret Bitrus, commended Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s show of concern over the incident. “The attack was carried out at night where the suspected gunmen killed three people and burnt scores of houses and foodstuffs,” she said. 

The Executive Secretary of Gombe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Abdullahi Haruna Abdullahi, said the state government, through his agency, had procured food and non-food items to provide succour for the victims. 

He said the items include 200 bags of rice, 200 bags of beans, 200 bags of maize, eight cartons of vegetable oil, 180 pieces of blankets, 189 pieces of mats, 10 cartons of soap, 126 mattresses, 200, treated mosquito nets and some essential drugs. 

The governor also provided N1 million support for the victims towards reducing the effects of the incident. 

The district head of Kalmai, Amadu Zubairu, thanked the governor for identifying with the communities, saying that it was the first time an executive governor of Gombe State visited the community to identify with them over any good or unfortunate incident.” 

He said suspected cattle rustlers had launched series of attacks on the villages around the community in November, stealing cattle and killing people. 

He said with the visit and actions taken by the government, those who fled the area and took shelter in neighbouring communities would have confidence to return and resume their normal life. 

At the Mai Tangle Palace in Billiri, Governor Inuwa Yahaya instructed the traditional ruler to summon all traditional leaders in his chiefdom, hunters, vigilance groups and heads of Fulani settlements to chart the way forward against crises and insecurity.

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