A state of uneasy calm has enveloped Gombe state arising from the killing of the Minority Leader of the State House of Assembly and others. Security situation in Gombe state has taken a down turn. Palpable fear has now gripped the state especially Gombe, the state capital.
Even though the state may have been previously adjudged the safest in the northern eastern region due to less violent activities recorded since the eruption of Boko Haram activities in the zone, current unhealthy developments have punctured the claims. There are killings and kidnaps. Worst still, it now involves high profile personalities such as politicians and such occurences happen in manners that smack of political connotations.
The situation has worsened since last month as each day comes with news of either death or kidnapping. First to be recorded was the kidnap of the member representing Gombe North Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Honourable Jalo Ahmed Ganga at the end of last year, precisely on December 31, 2012.
Like any other morning, Honourable Ganga, Chairman, House Committee of Finance and Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations had woken up and prepared for the early morning prayers not knowing that danger was lurking around him.
He had gone to a mosque near to his house in the metropolis. On his way back home, he was accosted by some men who wielded guns. Perspirated in fear, Ganga followed them upon a command to a waiting vehicle that later whisked him away into oblivion. For three days, no one knew the whereabouts of the politician only for him to resurface on the fourth day of his abduction.
Remarkably, Ganga was kidnapped two days after the Governor of the State; Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo presented the 2013 budget to the State Assembly.
Those who witnessed his arrival said Ganga came back on a commercial motorcycle popularly called “Achaba” in local parlance.
Speaking to newsmen in the house of the lawmaker upon his return on Thursday, January 3, 2013, the legislator’s younger brother, Abdulkadir Mohammed-Yelwa, expressed happiness and said that Mr. Ganga arrived home on a motorcycle at about 10 p.m. on Wednesday.
“We are very happy seeing our brother. He has returned and met with his family; but right now he is not home. He came back and told people not to worry that he had arrived safely. May be later in the day or tomorrow, you will see him and talk with him. We thank everybody who helped us in prayers,” he said.
In quick succession, just barely one week after the kidnap saga, Inspector Rilwanu Gazama, a former Police Orderly to the immediate past governor of the State, Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje became a victim of death in the hands of gunmen.
He was shot dead along the busy Emir’s palace road in Gombe metropolis after a brush with his killers on Friday, January 11, 2013.
The circumstances of his death can only be captured in the words of the State Police Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Sule who spoke to journalists in the state.
“The true position of things is that the incident was unfortunate. Surveillance men were posted from the Division (Gombe). One Sergeant was around that mosque on surveillance during Mosque period. As soon as prayers ended, he sighted a vehicle parked close to the Mosque.
He went close to that vehicle and accosted them, asking them questions. When he found out that they couldn’t give him satisfactory answers, he said they must go to the station. They refused. Now, the Sergeant called his DPO that he is suspecting the vehicle to have been stolen.
The DPO now sent his team leader, that is the Inspector to go and verify what was happening. The team leader is in-charge of surveillance. He is also in mufti. He went there and asked them for their particulars and so on. They said they didn’t have. He tried to take them to the station but they resisted. He grabbed the driver that he must move to the station.
“You see, that is unprofessional. He shouldn’t have done that. He was in mufti and in surveillance. He shouldn’t even have shown himself as a police man. So, what he needed to have done if they resisted him was to retreat and call back the DPO who will send, maybe, patrol vehicles and they will now round them up. But maybe, he wanted to take glory, I don’t know.
“And unfortunately, the second passenger shot him. Then, the sergeant maneuvered and disappeared from the scene. He was not armed, so, he couldn’t have done anything. None of them was armed. So, that is the picture of what exactly happened. We wouldn’t know. He must have made a lot of enemies while serving.
“They may have been looking for him because where he worked is the enclave where the incident happened.
He was said to be the Orderly to the former Governor. So, he was known very well within that environment. One cannot say what really went wrong. Why him? Why not the other sergeant who tactically withdrew? It is just like you know me and I don’t know you.
These criminals they are all over the place. We don’t know them. We are only gambling. But they know us. So, automatically, we are only
living at the mercy of God. And that is the supreme price of policing the society which the society should appreciate”, he explained.
The Police boss went on to say that the police are in charge of the security of the state.
“As regards the security in Gombe, we are still in control and we are on top of the situation. Nothing has changed.
Well, I don’t know what you mean by killings everywhere. In life, something must happen, somewhere, somehow. You don’t expect every thing should be rosy. There are prices to pay. If one or two incidence occurred, does that mean there is insecurity? That is absurd because if one incident happens, that does not mean there is insecurity.
So, nothing is still happening in Gombe”, Sule assured.
On the kidnap of the lawmaker, Commissioner Sule added “We are still on. Investigation is on and I don’t want to jeopardize the investigation. It is a case of kidnapping. It takes time. And we are on”.
But one incident which appears to have proven the claims of the men in uniform wrong and thrown the state into palpable fear was the killing of yet another serving lawmaker in the state, Honourable Abduwahid Waziri Doho.
He was shot dead in his house at Tudun Wada area of the town two days ago. Until now, he represented Kwami East State constituency in the Assembly. He was a member of the opposition political party, Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and Minority Leader. Doho was also the House Committee Chairman on Public Accounts.
Meanwhile, the ill developments in the state have reminded the people of a similar situation in January last year when suspected members of Boko Haram unleashed mayhem on a Deeper Life Church in Gombe.
The attack left more than seven people dead while several persons were critically injured. The attack was followed by a series of other terror events that characterized the state at the time among which was the burning of the Gombe Divisional police Station.