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Hardship: Hoodlums Waylay Trucks Carrying Foodstuff On Highway , Loot Food Items, As Soldiers Fire Gunshots To Scare Mobs In Niger State

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Soldiers opened fire, on Thursday, when suspected hoodlums hijacked trailers loaded with foodstuff in the Suleja Area of Niger State.

Alhassan Abdullahi, a witness, told our correspondent that many trailers coming from Abuja and heading for Kaduna were blocked by the hoodlums who burnt tyres on the road.

He said many bags of food stuffs, especially rice, were stolen before soldiers arrived the scene.

It took intervention of soldiers who arrived the scene and started firing gun shots in the air to scare the hoodlums away. But even with that, many of them went away with bags of rice and cartons of spaghetti and other food items.”

“We learnt commercial motorcycle riders are also planning a protest. They would have done it since yesterday but we didn’t know what stopped them,” he said.The development comes amid the nationwide hardship that has triggered protests in different parts of the country.

On February 16, leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) declared a two-day nationwide mass protest for February 27 and 28 .

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“We can no longer feed, Our shops are under siege” – Aba Traders protest Military siege, call on Gov Otti to intervene

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Following the May 30th killing of five soldiers by unknown gunmen, which has led to the military siege in Aba, commercial city of Abia State, Traders from Ngwa Road market Aba, Tuesday, stormed Abia Government House Umuahia, in protest.

The traders who stormed the Abia government house Umuahia, to seek the intervention of Gov. Alex Otti for the reopening of their shops, carried placards with various inscriptions.

Some of the inscriptions read:” We are tired of staying at home”; “We have no access to our shops any more”,; “Our shops are under siege”.

Speaking to the press, President of the Traders’ Association, Chinedu Oforndu who spoke on behalf of the traders, lamented that they had not been able to open their shops since the incident.

According to him, the situation had been taking a toll on them and their families as they now find it difficult to feed.

”Our shops are under siege by the military since May 30. We don’t have access to our shops again. Hunger is dealing with us. Governor please come to our rescue”, he pleaded.

In his response, the Secretary of the traders, Mr Ikenna Ohanaba, said that the traders had been frustrated over the situation, and needed Government’s help.

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Abducted Kaduna Catholic priest regains freedom

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The kidnapped Kaduna Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Gabriel Ukeh, of St Thomas Parish, Zaman Dabo in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State has been released barely 24 hours after his abduction.

Director of Communications, Rev. Fr. Okafor Tochukwu, disclosed this on Monday night in a statement  in Kaduna.

Ukeh was abducted in the early hours of Sunday at the Parish Rectory.

“With gratitude to God, we announce the safe release of our brother and priest, Rev Fr Gabriel Ukeh, who was abducted from the Rectory of St Thomas Parish, Zaman Dabo, Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where he shepherds on Sunday 9th June 2024.

” Fr Gabriel was happily welcomed home to his parish community at about 9pm, Monday, 10th June 2024.

“We acknowledge and appreciate the kind and prayerful support of all and sundry who worked round the clock to make this a reality.” Rev. Fr. Okafor stated.

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Two soldiers wounded, hospitalised as bandits attack Niger military base

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Bandits operating in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, have shot and wounded two soldiers at a military base.

Rafi is one of the troubled LGAs in Niger State, suffering incessant attacks from bandits, who prevent farmers from going to their farms.

The attack on the military base was said to have occurred in the early hours of Monday.

It was learnt that one bandit was killed while two soldiers sustained gunshot injuries in the exchange of gunfire.

The Chairman of the Rafi Local Government Area, Ayuba Katako, who confirmed the incident, said, “It happened in my domain. The two soldiers have been taken to the IBB Specialist Hospital where they are responding to treatment.

“The military, police and vigilantes are trying their best to ensure peace and security of lives and property in the state and they deserve to be commended.”

Katako decried the continued attacks on the security operatives and called for patience, support and prayers to overcome the menace of insecurity bedeviling the state and Nigeria at large.

The Niger State military cantonment in Minna could not be reached for comments.

Attempt to speak to the Niger police spokesman, Wasiu Abiodun, was also not successful as calls placed to his mobile line did not connect.

Meanwhile, troops of Operation Whirl Punch and Operation Forest Sanity II continued their patrol of the Rijana general area of the Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Monday, as they killed two bandits during a clearance operation.

The development came less than 24 hours after the troops encountered some bandits at the Kachia-Kajuru general area, killing five and leaving many with gunshot wounds.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, in a statement on Monday disclosed that troops on clearance operation engaged some bandits in a gun duel in the Rijana area and killed two, while scores escaped with gunshot wounds.

The troops, according to him, recovered three AK-47 rifles, two motorcycles, two AK-47 magazines, 19 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, two mobile phones and two MP3 players.

He said, “According to operational feedback to the Kaduna State Government, the troops began their advance, clearing several locations, including Amale, Gidan Jatau, Gidan Danfulani and Gidan Duna with no resistance.

“As the forces progressed to Gidan Dutse, the troops made contact with bandits and, in the ensuing firefight, two of the criminals were neutralised while several escaped with gunshot wounds.

“The troops searched the area and recovered three AK-47 rifles, two motorcycles and two AK-47 magazines, 19 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, two mobile phones and two MP3 players.

“The Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani, expressed satisfaction at the report and congratulated the troops for another sterling outing. The governor praised the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. T.A. Lagbaja, and the unflinching morale of the troops, in the ongoing operations.”

The commissioner enjoined the citizens to continue “to utilise the 24-hour Security Operations Room by volunteering actionable intelligence on the movement of bandits and their collaborators.

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