…As Borno monarch returns home, 5 years after displacement by Boko Haram***
The Nigeria Police on Monday in Abuja paraded 13 suspects arrested in Katsina and Kano States, allegedly involved in the kidnap of the district head of Daura (Magajin Garin Daura), Alhaji Musa Umar.
The District Head was abducted by gunmen on May 1, in front of his Daura residence while waiting to perform the 8:00 p.m. prayers. The District head has since regained his freedom from the abductors.
The all-male-13-suspects were among 40 other criminal suspects paraded on Monday by the police in Abuja.
The alleged kingpin of the suspects in the Daura monarch’s kidnap, 20 year old Yusuf Dahiru, told newsmen that their action was informed by the need to secure the release of their members who were arrested and placed under custody of security operatives.
Dahiru, from Bichi Local Government Area, Kano, told reporters that though the monarch spent 60 days in the kidnappers’ den, he was not maltreated, as they accorded him his deserved respect.
But another suspects, however, said they carried out the act because they wanted to get the sum of $30 million from the man they considered influential in the ancient town.
The other suspects were: Aminu Saleh, 46; Abdullah Mohammed, 26; Bilal Yusuf, 32; and Sarfilu Abdu, 25, a native of Daura.
Others are Dahiru Musa, 38; Tukur Bukar, 35; Ibrahim Ibrahim, 26; Mohammed Saidu, 36; Abubakar Adamu, 27; Mustapha Zakariyya, 32; Ibrahim Mohammed, 29; and Bako Mustapha, 29.
Shedding more light, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, who paraded the suspects at the headquarters of the Special Anti-robbery Squad, in Guzape, Abuja, said they were picked up at their hideouts in Daura, Katsina State as well as in Kano State.
He said the suspects were also responsible for the kidnapping and killing of some expatriates who owned and worked in construction companies in Nigeria.
Mba noted that for every crime committed there were local collaborators and urged the public to partner the Police and other security agencies to keep the country safe.
Mba also called on the National Assembly to strengthen legislation on heinous crimes such as Kidnapping, cattle rustling and unlawful possession of weapons.
He said that the police recovered items such as chemicals for production of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), 20 AK-47, laptops which contained manual on manufacturing of bombs, military uniforms and other dangerous weapons from the suspects.
In the meantime, the Emir of Gwoza in Borno, Alhaji Mohammed Shehu-Timta, has returned home following the relative peace and security in his domain, five years after displacement from the kingdom, by Boko Haram insurgents.
The mammoth crowd gathered at Pulka and major streets in Gwoza metropolis on Monday to give the first class traditional ruler a rousing welcome.
Shehu-Timta who was accompanied by the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Usman Kadafur, Sen. Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South), members of the state House of Assembly and village heads, among others, was received in a colourful celebration showcased with a martial display of Gwoza culture at the emir’s palace.
Addressing the people, Gov. Babagana Umara said the return of the monarch signified the return of civic authority in the local institution.
Represented by his deputy (Kadafur), the governor said his administration accord high respect and commitment to the traditional institution, describing it as a “symbol and pride of every society’’.
“I felicitate with the Emir and people of Gwoza over the official relocation and return of our Emir back to his palace after years in Maiduguri.
“This administration will not afford to toy with the people of Gwoza and the traditional institution.
“I therefore call on you to support the Emir and security agencies to end insurgency in order to move the emirate forward.
“The government is not unaware of the numerous challenges related to the relocation of the Emir. We are going to accelerate the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Gwoza General Hospital, water sources and other public utility buildings, among others,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Shehu-Timta said he voluntarily returned home to build confidence and encouraged his subjects to also return home and go back to their normal livelihood.
Shehu-Timta recalled when the insurgents sacked the town in 2014, killings dozens of people, declaring the town as their spiritual caliphate.
He said: “Dozens of my people ran for their lives and became Internally Displaced Persons in Maiduguri, Adamawa, Abuja and Lagos, while some fled to Cameroon.
“Today’s is my happiest day in life as I officially returned back to my domain after been displaced by insurgents.
“I therefore call all people of Gwoza to come back home, so that we will rebuild our communities.”
The monarch also appealed to the Borno Government to construct more tents in the town for IDPs to return and rebuild their livelihood.
It would be recalled that in August 2014, Boko Haram captured Gwoza town with a population of 275,000 people and declared it the headquarters of its caliphate.