Gunmen have attacked a mosque in central Nigeria’s state of Niger, killing nine people, police said Friday while residents gave a higher death toll of 16.
The reason for the attack was not immediately known, but gangs of criminals known locally as bandits have terrorised communities in northwest and central Nigeria for years.
Heavily-armed men on motorcycles stormed the remote Ba’are village in Mashegu district on Wednesday, opening fire on a mosque while worshippers were praying, local police chief Monday Bala Kuryas said.
“The attackers killed nine Muslim worshippers inside the mosque and left some others injured,” Kuryas said.
A joint team of police and civil defence paramilitary personnel deployed to the area while the injured were taken to a nearby hospital, the police official said.
Resident Amadu Hamisu said locals collected 16 bodies from the mosque after the attack.
“A total of 16 people who were praying in the mosque were killed. We took their bodies from the mosque,” Hamisu told AFP.
Gangs in the area, who are not known to be ideologically driven, have become more violent in recent months.
In October, bandits shot dead 16 Muslim worshippers in a mosque during morning prayers in Maza-Kuka village in the same district.
Analysts and residents have warned that jihadist fighters from the northeast have infiltrated some of the gangs, even taking control over remote villages in Niger state.
Coup: ECOWAS Suspends Burkina Faso
The West African bloc Economic Community of West African States has suspended Burkina Faso from its governing board on Friday.
This is coming as an aftermath of mutinous soldiers who forced democratically elected President Roch Marc Christian Kabore to resign.
This makes Burkina Faso the third member nation after Mali and Guinea to be punished for a military takeover in only 18 months.
On Monday, the soldiers went on state television to announce their military takeover of the country, which they said was under siege from armed groups. The military rulers said Kabore failed to stop the violence that led to the death of thousands of their citizens.
At the meeting where African leaders met virtually on Friday to discuss the Burkina Faso coup, it was stated that a delegation was expected to travel to the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou, in the coming days.
Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the current ECOWAS chairman, called the recent spate of coups in West Africa “a direct violation of our democratic tenets. The rest of the world is looking up to us to be firm on this matter.”
The leaders are scheduled to meet next on February 3 in Accra, Ghana.
Akeredolu Appoints Amotekun Commander, Adeleye, As Special Adviser on Security Matters
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, has approved the appointment of Chief Adetunji Adeleye as Special Adviser on Security Matters.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Richard Olatunde, noted that the appointment takes immediate effect.
Chief Adeleye, who until the new appointment, was the Commander of the Ondo State Security Network (Amotekun Corps), will however, continue to function in that capacity.
The appointment, the statement noted, is part of the efforts of the Governor Akeredolu to further strengthen the security arrangements of the state, and improve the working relationship between government and security agencies in the state.
While congratulating the new appointee, Akeredolu charged him to double efforts in the fight against crime and criminal elements in the state.
Olashore School Inaugurates Panel As Ex-Student Accuses Management of Complicity, Cover-Up
The Trustees of Olashore International School Association – Proprietor of Olashore International School (OIS), a private co-educational boarding secondary school in Iloko-Ijesha, Osun State, has inaugurated a Five-member panel of inquiry into an alleged sexual assault claim by an ex-student of Olashore International School Obiamaka Azubuike.
Ms. Azubuike had in December 2021 via a social media post alleged that she was 18 years ago sexually assaulted by 13 of her fellow students in the school. Azubuike who was a student of the school between September 1998 and July 2004 also in her allegation claimed that the school tried to cover up the incident when the case was reported to the school’s management and striped her of her prefectship.
The Five-man panel of inquiry is composed of the following members:
1)Justice Olusola Williams Rtd – Retired Judge of the Lagos High Court and serves on the Board of Mirabel Centre – Chairperson
2)Dr Alero Roberts – Lecturer, Public Health Consultant and serves on the Board of Corona Trust Council
3)Mrs Adeyinka Adefope – Educationist and Safeguarding Consultant
4)Dr Sade Olajubu – Forensic Psychiatrist
5) Mr Ebuka Ekeanyanwu – Legal Practitioner
The ex-student in her claims among other reliefs is demanding that;
• The school makes a publicly apology to her in print and on social media.
• Reinstate the records to show that she was a school prefect in the school and also grant a zoom ceremony where she will be awarded the honors she allegedly earned.
According to a statement issued by Mrs Olapeju Sofowora, Chairperson, Olashore International School Association, the panel which was inaugurated by the Association’s Board of Trustees is charged to examine what truly transpired 18 years ago and make recommendations as considered fit.
The panel is expected to commence sitting immediately and conclude their inquiry within 8 weeks.