These are indeed the worst of times for Kagara town in Niger State, which just last week got 42 students, staff and their relatives of Government Science College Kagara freed after 10 days in the dungeon of kidnappers. It has lost its king, Emir Salihu Tanko, to the cold hands of death.
Details of circumstances leading to his death are unknown, but the old town has been in the news for the wrong reasons in the last one year.
On the day, the Kagara students were freed by bandits, four persons were reportedly killed and scores kidnapped in fresh attacks on the town and adjoining villages in Rafi Local Government Area of the state.
Musa Kwabe disclosed eight persons were kidnapped in Kundu and 11 others in nearby Gunna district.
He said four people killed were from Karako, a neighbouring village where seven persons are still missing, adding that many cows were rustled
Ibrahim Ruvo, a chief imam at Madaka village, was among those taken.
Last September, gunmen invaded Kagara town, the headquarters of Rafi local government, and held the town hostage for hours.
Said to number over 70, they stormed the town on motorcycles, shooting sporadically, and forcing residents to flee into the bushes
Meanwhile, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has expressed great shock at the news of the death of the Emir.
The Governor, in a statement described the death of the Emir as collosal loss to the state in general and the Kagara Emirate in particular.
“We have lost a First Class Emir, a member of the State Council of Traditional Rulers, an Octagenerian and an Elder Statesman whose wise counsel has been of immense value to this administration and those before it in the state.”.
The Governor described the late Emir of Kagara as symbol of humility, patience and peace-loving person who has brought immense unity and progress to his emirate adding that he would be greatly missed.
Governor Sani Bello commiserated with the Etsu Nupe and Chairman Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, the immediate family and entire people of Kagara Emirate, and prayed Allah to grant the soul of the deceased eternal rest in Jannatul Firdausi and the family the fortitude to be strong in this trying times.
Alhaji Salihu Tanko, who died Tuesday, in Kagara, headquarters of Rafi Local Government, was born on 5th April, 1930 at Tegina and left behind Wives, children and grandchildren.
A disciplinarian to the core, the late Emir of Kagara Alhaji Salihu Tanko was appointed District Head of Tegina in 1971 and became a Second Class Chief of Kagara in 1982 and subsequently elevated to the status of a First Class Emir in 1991.