Security alert: Delta faults inclusion in UK’s travel advisory to 12 states

2021-10-19
THE GUARDIAN Newspaper

• As gunmen kill 30 in Sokoto market
• 10 soldiers, 21 others killed by gunmen across Nigeria last week
• Gunmen attack police station in Ebonyi, kill a cop
• Report insecurity as declining, not rising, Buhari begs
media
• Asking journalists not to report insecurity as rising amounts to gagging the press, says Farounbi

Gunmen have killed at least 30 people in an attack in Sokoto State, Governor Aminu Tambuwal confirmed yesterday. The assault began at a weekly market in Goronyo on Sunday and continued into Monday morning.

This is coming as the United Kingdom (UK), at the weekend, advised its citizens in Nigeria to steer clear of 12 states, saying Boko Haram insurgents were likely to kidnap foreign nationals.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which announced this in a travel advisory for its nationals, said there was a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria for ideological, financial or political gain. The states include Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.

The bandits, according to locals, came in their large numbers using motorcycles and opened fire at any object on sight in the market on Sunday evening. “This happened when people were already preparing to return to their homes,” a source said.
The event occurred barely 10 days after bandits had killed dozens of people in a similar attack on Unguwar Lalle Market in Sabon Birni Council of the state. Goronyo, Isa, Sabon Birni and Raba are local councils in Sokoto in the frontline of banditry.

Iliyasu Abba, a local resident and trader, told newsmen that there were 60 bodies at Goronyo General Hospital mortuary, with many others sustaining injuries while escaping.

“The gunmen stormed the market as it was crowded with shoppers and traders,” he said. “The men were shooting sporadically at us after they surrounded the market firing at every direction, killing people.”
Gunmen across the Northwest have killed scores of people and kidnapped hundreds more for ransom over the past year in a security crisis that the government is trying to tackle via communications blackouts, military operations and stepped up policing.

The government ordered shut all telephone and Internet services in the whole of Zamfara State in early September, the blackout was later extended to parts of Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna states as military operations intensified.

Confirming the incident when the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, paid a courtesy call on the Sokoto Government House, Governor Tambuwal said the army operation in Zamfara State has worsened the security situation in Sokoto lately.

 

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