- As military announces arrest of 23 armed gang members
- Gov Aliyu calls on group to embrace peace
The Borno State Government has confirmed the unfortunate murder of His Royal Highness, the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta.
The Emir was killed around 9am Friday following a bloody attack by some gun men believed to be members of the Boko Haram along Tashan Alade on the way to Biu town, headquarters of Biu Local Government Area in Southern Borno State.
The late Emir was in company of the Emir of Askira, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibn Muhammadu Askirama and Emir of Uba, Alhaji Ali Ibn Ismaila Mamza, all of whom drove in the same vehicle as they headed to Biu to pick the Emir of Biu so they could all drive in a convoy to Gombe State to attend the funeral of the late Emir of Gombe who is scheduled for burial in Gombe Friday.
The late Emir of Gwoza had visited his counterpart, the Emir of Uba Thursday and passed the night in Uba ahead of their planned trip Friday.
The two Emirs were Friday morning, joined by the Emir of Askira. The three drove in the same vehicle with the intention of going to Biu to be joined by their counterpart in Biu.
Unfortunately as they were driving in convoy to Biu, they were ambushed by gun men around Tashan Alade, soon after passing Garkida. The gunmen came after the convoy,specifically targeted the vehicle conveying the three Emirs and opened fire. The Emir of Gwoza was unfortunately killed by the attackers while the Emirs of Askira and Uba escaped unhurt. A policeman in the convoy was shot by the attackers but he survived the attack.
The late Emir was in the first class status following his recent elevation by Governor Kashim Shettima.
Reacting, the Borno State Government expressed its terribly shock over the incident.
The government prayed that Allah admits the late Emir into aljanna Firadaus and give family, members of the Gwoza Emirate Council, the people of Gwoza, the State Council of Chiefs and the entire people of Borno State the fortitude to bear this very traumatic loss especially at a time the state is still dealing with equally disturbing issues related with security challenges in the State.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has said its troops are currently on aggressive patrols along the entire route with a view to apprehending the perpetrators and keeping the area safe.
In a statement signed by Major Gen. Chris Olukolade, Director Defence Information, the military also said that raids carried out by troops of the Special Task Force operating in the north-central part of the country have led to the arrest of 23 members of armed gangs terrorizing the region.
The suspects including a hard drugs supplier were apprehended during raids on camps and criminal hideouts located in Bukuru, Jos South and Barkin Ladi general areas.
All the suspects are currently undergoing preliminary investigation before being handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency.
And in a related development, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger called on Boko Haram to embrace the peace initiative proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan through granting of amnesty to its members.
Aliyu made the call in Minna on Friday in his capacity as Chairman, Northern States Governors’ Forum.
The call which is contained in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Israel Ebije, quoted the governor as saying that the president’s amnesty offer was a welcome idea.
Aliyu said that the Northern states’ governors were ready to cooperate and support the Federal Government to address the grievances of the insurgents in order to ensure their successful re-integration into the larger society.
The statement described the amnesty offer as laudable because it would help restore peace and harmony in troubled areas of the country.
It quoted the governor as appealing to the sect members to lay down their arms, saying that peace and stability was essential to the region’s development and growth.
It said that insecurity had increased fear, encouraged suspicion and put national development in reverse gear.
It said that effort must be put in place to ensure that every window of opportunity needed to curb the surging violence was exploited to the very end