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Kaduna contradict Kano claims over death of 16 Kano travellers

By Timileyin Omilana
11 December 2020   |   10:16 am
The death of 16 Kano State indigenes killed on Kaduna-Abuja Road while traveling to Kano on Wednesday has been generating controversy. In a statement by the Kano State government on Thursday, Abba Anwar, the chief press secretary to the governor said the 16 Dambatta indigenes were attacked by "unidentified gunmen." "The news is devastating and…

The death of 16 Kano State indigenes killed on Kaduna-Abuja Road while traveling to Kano on Wednesday has been generating controversy.

In a statement by the Kano State government on Thursday, Abba Anwar, the chief press secretary to the governor said the 16 Dambatta indigenes were attacked by “unidentified gunmen.”

“The news is devastating and frustrating. We commiserate with the families of the deceased, the people of Dambatta local government, and the people of Kano State,” Anwar said.

However, a few hours after Anwar’s claims circulated in the media, the Kaduna State government denied the claim, tagging it as “incorrect and misleading.”

Kaduna Commissioner-Internal Security and Home Affairs Samuel Aruwan in a series of tweets on Thursday night said the 16 deceased were involved in a fatal accident.

“Kano indigenes perished in accident and were not killed by bandits on the Kaduna-Abuja Road,” Aruwan said.

“The fact is, they perished at the Rigachikun axis of Kaduna-Zaria Road in a road accident following a burst tyre,” he added.

The Kaduna-Abuja expressway has been known for a spate of kidnappings and deadly attacks. Gangs of gunmen have abducted dozens of travellers and killed several people along the highway.

In November, Nigeria’s military said it killed “several armed bandits” during a major aerial bombing operation in the area.

After receiving a tip-off, ground troops with aerial assistance launched the operation on a camp near the highway, the army said in a statement.

The statement said several bandits were “neutralized”, without giving an exact number.

The air strikes began at dawn and targeted a cluster of huts believed to be home to the gang leader, nicknamed “Major”, and his fighters, military spokesman John Enenche said in the statement.

But after the operation, there have been record of attacks on the highway.