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15 traders killed, burnt by gunmen in Zamfara State

Map of Nigeria showing Zamfara State

On 26 January, unidentified gunmen waylaid and killed 15 traders and then set their bodies ablaze near Birnin Magaji town in Zamfara State.

Local sorces said the traders were attacked as they were returning from a market in neighbouring Katsina State. They said the gunmen, numbering about 100, sprang from the bush and forced the open truck, in which the traders were travelling, to stop.

The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara State, Mr Tambari Yabo Mohammed, said: “The armed robbers waylaid the traders travelling back in an open truck and opened fire on them. They then loaded the truck with 14 bodies and burnt them”. He said a 15th victim died in hospital.

Although the Police chief suggested the attack may have been a case of armed robbery, local sources said it may be linked to some earlier incidents in Lingyado village in Zamfara State.

On 10 August 2011, vigilantes from Lingyado had evicted a group of people from the village whom they suspected of being behind a series of cattle and other robberies. Those evicted regrouped and attacked the village on 2 October, killing 23 villagers.

Commenting on that attack, the governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, had said: “From the information I have received, the attackers who are nomadic Fulani, invited their comrades from as far as Central African Republic, for the raid”.


14 die, 13 injured in motor accident in Zamfara State

On 11 November, 14 people died in a motor accident at Wanzamai Village on the Gusau-Zaria road in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

Local sources said the accident, involving a Peugeot J5 bus and a Volkswagen Golf car, occurred at about 9 p.m. The two vehicles collided on a narrow bend close to Wanzamai Village, on the boundary between Zamfara and  Katsina States. The bus caught fire instantly and many of the passengers on board were burnt beyond recognition.

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Sector Commander in Zamfara State, Mr Cheche Orji, said apart from those confirmed dead, 13 others who were injured had been admitted at the General Hospital in Tsafe. Orji said the accident might have been caused by wrong overtaking and expressed the fear that the casualty figure could rise, given the critical conditions of some of the victims that were rushed to hospital. He pleaded with motorists to always drive with great care and to abide by traffic rules and regulations.


1 February: 18 people die in an accident along Dutsin-ma-Kankara road in Danmusa Local Government Area of Katsina State killed 18 persons leaving five others with serious wounds.

8 March: 13 persons died in a ghastly motor accident in Bakiyawa Village in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State. The accident involved a Mitsubishi Canter bus with 26 passengers and an articulated tipper lorry belonging to a construction firm.

8 March: 14 persons died in a fatal motor accident along the Benin-Ore road in Edo State. According to some local sources, the accident occurred when the driver of a commercial bus, in the course of overtaking a truck, ran into an on-coming trailer.

12 March: Six persons believed to be members of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), died when their bus colided with a goods-laden truck,  in Oyo town. About 15 others were reportedly injured.

15 March: Seven people were killed when the motorcade of the Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, got involved in an accident on Katsina-Daura Road. The governor was unhurt, but his Aide-de-Camp, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Aminu Ibrahim and eix others died.10 other persons sustained injuries.

19 March: About 18 people died, after an 18-seater commercial bus conveying passengers from the eastern part of the country to Lagos, plunged into the Ogbese River near Ugbogi Village, on the border area of Edo and Ondo States.

26 March: Two policemen died while four others suffered injuries, when a vehicle on the motorcade of the Zamfara State governor, Alhaji Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi had a ghastly accident as the team was heading to a campaign rally in Maradun, headquarters of Maradun Local Government Area of the state.

1 April:  About 30 people were killed in a fatal road accident at a check-point in Narabi village, on the Bauchi State stretch of the Jos-Bauchi highway. The driver of a fuel tanker reportedly lost control and ran into several vehicles awaiting security clearance, at a check-point manned by police and military personnel.

12 April: 18 people were confirmed dead in Sabon Wuse, along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway, after an 18-seater bus travelling from Lagos to Kaduna crashed into a stationary trailer.

13 May:  At least 18 people died while 11 others sustained various injuries as two buses colided and caught fire instantly, near Potiskum in Yobe State.

23 May:  Alhaji Balarabe Musa, 34, who had just been elected to the House of Representatives at the 9 April polls, to represent Kumbotso constituency in Kano State, died in a car crash. The accident occurred on the Abuja–Kano highway, at a town called Tafa in Niger State.

27 May: 26 people were burnt to death in a huge inferno resulting from a motor accident in front of the popular Yaoland Fuel Station along the intra-city Iwo Road-Ojoo route in Ibadan, Oyo State.About 25 vehicles and other equipment worth several millions of naira also perished in the tragedy.

27 May:  Seven persons, including Alhaji Kolo Makama, senior special assistant on special duties/legal matters to the Niger State governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, died in a crash. along Bida road in Niger State. The accident occurred just about 48 hours to the governor’s inauguration for a second term.

1 June: 10 people were killed in a ghastly motor accident at Abukur village along Katsina-Kano road.

7 June: Seven students of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria,died when the commercial bus in which they were riding collided head-on with a petrol tanker.

8 June: 21 persons, including two pregnant women and seven toddlers, died in an auto crash at Ilara Mokin, near Akure, capital of Ondo State.

20 June:  28 people died when buses operated by two Enugu-based transport companies (Peace Mass Transit, PMT, and the Enugu State Transport Company, ENTRACO) collided on the Enugu-Nsukka Highway; four of the casualties were members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who were returning to their homes after the national service in one  of  the northern states.

20 June: At least 18 people, died in an accident on the Ibadan–Lagos Expressway, according to witnesses. However, FRSC officials later said seven people died.

24 June: Five candidates for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) travelling from Yenagoa in Bayelsa State to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, died in an auto crash at the Ahoada axis of the East-East road in Rivers State.


August 1988

On 17 August 1988, about 140 people died, 200,000 were displaced, 18,000 houses were destroyed and 14,000 farms were ruined when the Bagauda Dam in Kano State, collapsed, following a flash flood. Damage to houses and infrastructure was put at N650 million.

September 1999

Eight children died and 250 villages in 15 local government areas were submerged as a result of increased water on Siroro Dam in Niger State.

October 2001

About 200 people died and tens of thousands were rendered homeless as a result of vast floods in Jigawa and Kano States. The Nigerian Red Cross reported 180 dead, 800 injured and 35,500 displaced in Jigawa, with 28 dead  and 48,500 displaced in Kano.

September 2006

On 30 September, about 1,000 families were forced out of their submerged homes in Zamfara State, after torrential rain had brought the water level behind a dam past critical level, forcing it to burst.

August – September 2010

Scores of people were killed and thousands displaced by floods that overran villages in about six states – Sokoto, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara and Kebbi – after unusually heavy rains had swollen rivers and streams.

In Sokoto State, about 50 villages were submerged, 2,000 houses destroyed and more than 100,000 people were displaced across 11 local government areas, after heavy rains led to a dam failure on the Rima River, close to Goronyo town. Vast amounts of farm produce and farmlands were also washed away.

In Katsina State, hundreds of houses were destroyed, with over 1700 persons displaced in Dutsema Local Government Area alone. An executive member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Surajo Audu, drowned while trying to cross a river to his village, Gwanamarde.

In Kano State, 3,000 people were displaced by floods, with Shanono and Gadasawa local government areas worst affected.

In Jigawa State, about 25 villages were submerged, 7,000 people displaced and 3,000 hectares of crops washed away, after a river burst its banks following torrential rainfall.

In Zamfara State, over 2000 acres of farmland were washed away in Gummi Local Government Area.

September 2010

In Kano and Jigawa States, more than 2 million people were displaced after flood gates on two dams – the Challawa and Tiga – located in Kano, were opened to release rising waters along the Niger River. The flooding also left 97 hectares (about 240 acres) of farmland water-logged and caused other damages estimated at 4.5 billion naira ($29 million). Umar Kyari, director of press affairs in the government of neighbouring Jigawa State, blamed the flooding on “poor management” of the dams.

June 2011

On 21 June, at least six children were killed while many other persons were injured after several hours of torrential rainfall led to the collapse of about 27 houses in the Fagge area of Kano, capital of Kano State. About 300 people were rendered homeless.


Kankara attackers were bandits not Boko Haram, says police in Katsina

On 21 June, police authorities in Katsina State said the attacks on the police station and Bank PHB building in Kankara the previous day, in which seven people were killed, was carried out by armed bandits and not members of the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the Katsina State Police Command, ASP Abubakar Mohammed, the bandits numbering about 10, killed seven people – five policemen and two civilians – and stole all the money from the day’s transactions at the Bank PHB branch, an amount yet to be ascertained. He said the corpses of those killed had been deposited at the morgue of the General Hospital in Katsina.

He said the police was working on measures to bring the perpetuators to book and avert further occurrences. Already, the police has found a vehicle allegedly abandoned by the bandits which may be a useful lead towards tracking them down.

The PRO particularly appealed to members of the public to assist the police with relevant information on any strangers or any unusual developments they see around them.

Seven killed as armed group attacks police station, bank, in Kankara, Katsina State

On 20 June, an armed group attacked a police station and a bank simultaneously, killing seven people including five policemen, in Kankara, Katsina State.

Local sources say members of the group, numbering about 10, were armed with AK-47 rifles and explosives, and clad in long robes. It was further reported that they wore beards and shouted “Allahu Akbar (God is greatest)”, throughout the operation.

They say as the group got close to the divisional police station, its members split into two units. One unit attacked the station, killing three policemen including the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO) and freeing suspected criminals who were detained in cells at the station, pending their arraignment in court. They then looted arms and ammunition from the station, and threw an explosive inside before fleeing. The witnesses say the explosion that followed reduced the station to rubble with the bodies of three uniformed policemen lying among the ruins.

The second group stormed the nearby Bank PHB, shooting two policemen and a bank security guard to death. They then blew up the bank’s door with an explosive, which enabled them to gain entry and cart away an unknown amount of cash.

The sources further report that a man who attempted to pick up a bundle of the stolen cash which fell off from the attackers’ loot was shot by the fleeing gunmen, and later died in hospital.

The gunmen were said to have escaped in two vehicles, one speeding down the Kankara-Shema road, the other fleeing through the Kankara-Katsina road.

The gunmen are suspected to have been members of the militant Islamist sect, popularly referred to as Boko Haram.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sin”, has been demanding more comprehensive and stricter implementation of Islamic Sharia law, adopted by 12 states in northern Nigeria between 1999 and 2001. In July 2009, it launched an uprising which was firmly quelled by security forces with over 800 persons, mostly sect members, killed.

Since mid-2010, it has waged a campaign of serial assassinations and bombings, targeting security personnel and politicians, clerics and community leaders. Until recently, those attacks were concentrated in Borno and, to a lesser degree, Bauchi State. But on 16 June, its suicide bomber set off a bomb at the national police headquarters in Abuja, killing at least two people and destroying a large number of vehicles.

This is the group’s first attack in Katsina State. It may also be a first demontration of the notice it served on 15 June, that it will be carrying out wider and firecer attacks in other parts of northern Nigeria.




Violence after presidential election in Katsina State: 4 burnt to death, 42 prisoners freed

On 20 April, the Katsina State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ibrahim Mohammad, reported that four people were burnt to death in their houses, and 42 inmates let loose from the prison in Malumfashi, during the riots that followed the presidential election results,  in Katsina State.

Providing a comprehensive report on recent violence in the state, the police commissioner said that in Malumfashi, about 11 houses including Governor Ibrahim Shema’s Campaign Organisation’s office, the homes of the chairman and secretary of the local government council, and the private houses of some chieftains of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were burnt down. Ten vehicles were also set ablaze. The prisoners escaped when the rioters broke into the jail house and drove the prison wardens away.

CP Mohammed said in Funtua, the rioters destroyed or burnt more than seven vehicles, restaurants and private schools.

In Daura, home town of the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, property destroyed included several shops and vehicles.

In Kankara, the rioters set fires to the house of the ex-chairman of Kankara local council, Mamman Sani; the PDP office in the local government; a vehicle parked in the council boss’ house and Governor Shema’s campaign office.

The CP said 15 churches were razed down: Five in Funtua, four in Daura and three in Malumfashi.

The police boss reported that over 107 persons had been arrested in Malumfashi, Funtua, Daura, Kankara, Jibia and Katsina metropolis, in connection with the attack on the prison and the destruction of public and private property. Mohammed said one of the suspects, Abddulkadri Yahaya, 28, while trying to escape arrest, grabbed a pot of boiling groundnut oil from a roadside bean cake fryer, and hurled it at the police officer, Lawal Sani Dansada, who was pursuing him. Dansada is presently in hospital.

The Police Commissioner said those arrested would be charged to court once investigations are completed.

Niger State governor’s campaign team in auto accident, 2 killed

On 16 March, two persons were killed and six others injured in a road accident involving some members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The victims were said to be supporting the campaign team of the Niger State Governor, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu.

The accident, which occurred on Lapai-Gulu Road in Lapai Local Government Area, involved an 18-seater Hiace bus conveying the PDP supporters and an on-coming bus. Eyewitnesses say the accident occurred when the driver of the PDP bus lost control, went off his lane and ran into the bus coming from the opposite direction.

One of the PDP supporters died instantly, while the other gave up on the way to hospital. Several others suffered injuries and were taken to the General Hospital in Minna, the state capital.

Only two days earlier, a similar accident had occurred in Katsina State, killing Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC),  ASP Aminu Ibrahim and several others.

13 die in auto accident in Katsina State

On 8 March, 13 persons died in a ghastly motor accident in Bakiyawa Village in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The accident, which occurred at about 8:30 pm, involved a Mitsubishi Canter with registration number XA 680 DGW with 26 passengers and which was heading from Katsina to Batsari, and an articulated tipper lorry with registration number XF 363 KTN belonging to a construction firm, UBSAR Nig. Ltd.

Eye witnesses said the Mitsubitshi driver was attempting to overtake three cars in a row when he ran into the articulated vehicle coming from the opposite direction. The casualties were three children, two women and eight men.

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