Nigeria: Residents, Police Disagree Over Attacks On Bauchi’s Oil Communities

The police, however, acknowledged the presence of the non-state actors terrorising the residents of the area.

Despite complaints by residents of Alkaleri Local Government in Bauchi that they have come under increasing attacks by non-state actors, the Police in Bauchi have denied the occurrence of widespread attacks in the area.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the residents said terrorist groups wielding sophisticated weapons are terrorising their communities that are around the newly discovered oil field in the Alkaleri local government.

Residents said at least 10 people were killed, and many are being kidnapped daily as locals are fleeing villages in droves for the fear of their safety.

“The kidnapping for ransom is now rampant. In less than 20 days, about 30 people were kidnapped, and the least ransom paid was N2 million. They killed at least ten people within a few weeks,” Sa’adu Jibrin, a councillor for Maimadi ward – one of the terrorised communities told our reporter.

“The area is now blessed with oil which will attract more people for investment, but that can only happen if the place is secure. The gunmen went to the oil drilling site and kidnapped a household leader whose residence is less than a kilometre from where President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the oil drilling. The kidnap happened after the president’s visit. Two people were kidnapped in the very location,” he said.

Police disagree

However, the Bauchi State Police Command debunked the claim in a statement on Sunday.

The police, however, acknowledged the presence of the non-state actors terrorising the residents of the area.

In the statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the state’s police, Ahmed Wakil, the police described stories of attacks as “negative” adding that it could “undermine the efforts of the police and other security services in curtailing activities of crime in the state”.

Below is the full statement from the police in Bauchi

NO ATTACK AT NEWLY OIL-DISCOVERED COMMUNITIES IN BAUCHI

The attention of the Bauchi Police Command has been drawn to viral media publications in some sections of the media dated 11th December 2022 alleging that ten (10) people were killed in a week by kidnappers around newly oil-discovered field communities. The story is false in its entirety!

While the aim of the promoters of the unfortunate stories is unknown such negative reports could undermine the efforts of the police and other security services in curtailing activities of crime in the state.

We, therefore wish to correct the erroneous narrative being paddled around is not true, and neither is it the reality on the ground.

It is necessary to point out that the police command has recorded tremendously successful in its fight against insecurity, especially around the Alkaleri axis.

Sequel to the commissioning of the kolmani oil field project site, the command deployed more operational assets and intensified intelligence gathering, and visibility patrols in a bit to decimate the activities of non-state actors in the area.

It would have been unnecessary to respond to the deliberate misinformation, falsehood, and outright mischief by the authors of the publications but this response is necessitated by the need to set the records straight and put a stop to intending vitiated the effort of command.

To this end, the Commissioner of Police CP Aminu Alhassan psc(+) has urged the media to always ensure they verify and authenticate their reports from credible security sources for factual reportage on the reality on the ground.

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