Politician killed in northwest Nigeria as security crisis worsens


A Nigerian politician was killed by bandits while on the road between two northern cities, one of his colleagues said on Wednesday, while a state governor’s convoy came under fire in a separate incident that left three police officers injured.

The attacks highlighted a breakdown of law and order across northwestern Nigeria, where armed robberies and kidnappings for ransom have become so frequent that many people are terrified of being on the road.

Ahmad Ahmad, a member of the state house of assembly in northwestern Zamfara state, was killed in a rural area on Tuesday evening as he was driving from the state capital Gusau to the city of Kano, in another state.

“He was killed by bandits between 9 and 10 pm,” said Salihu Shehu, who is also a Zamfara state lawmaker. “I am deeply touched by the news of the killing of my best friend.”

Early on Wednesday, Kano state Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s convoy came under fire while driving back from Zamfara, according to Muhammad Garba, the state’s commissioner for information. The governor himself was not in the convoy, but his security detail and other personnel were.

“The first two pilot vehicles were the ones attacked,” said Garba, who added that police had repelled the attack and that three officers had sustained minor injuries.

The insecurity in northwestern Nigeria is not directly linked to Islamic insurgencies in the northeastern part of the country that the United Nations says have left 350 000 people dead over 12 years.

However, the situation in northwestern Nigeria has also reached crisis proportions, with hundreds of children abducted from their schools this year in a wave of mass kidnappings.