Matawalle Commends Nigerian Army as Soldiers Kill 30 Bandits in Niger State

Matawalle Commends Nigerian Army as Soldiers Kill 30 Bandits in Niger State

  • Minister of state for defence, Bello Muhammad Matawalle, praised the Nigerian Army for successfully neutralising over 30 armed bandits, including notorious figures Ali Kawajo and Shehu Rakef
  • Ali Kawajo was identified as the mastermind behind a train bombing attack and the kidnapping of over 100 passengers in 2022
  • Matawale commended Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TA Lagbaja and the entire Nigerian Army, urging them to sustain their efforts in combating insecurity in the country journalist Nurudeen Lawal has 8 years of experience covering political campaigns and elections

FCT, Abuja - Bello Muhammad Matawalle, the minister of state for defence, has commended the Nigerian Army over its successful operations around Tungar Mangwaro in Niger state.

The minister, in a statement sent to, specifically commended the Army for neutralising over 30 armed bandits on Sunday, November 10.

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Bello Matawalle/Nigerian Army/Bandits in Niger State
Minister of state for defence Matawalle hails Nigerian Army for its successful operations against bandits in Niger state. Photo credit: @Bellomatawalle1
Source: Twitter gathers that two notorious bandits, Ali Kawajo and Shehu Rakef, were hit and killed during the operation.

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Who are Ali Kawajo and Shehu Rakef?

It was reportedly Ali Kawajo who masterminded the train bombing attack and the kidnapping of over 100 passengers in 2022 and also the recent kidnap of students of Federal University, Gusau, in Zamfara state.

Both Ali Kawajo and Shehu Rakef, according to the statement, have also been behind most bandit activities in Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states, most especially along road Abuja-Kaduna axis.

Matawale particularly congratulated the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TA Lagbaja and the Nigerian Army in general on the significant achievement and encouraged them not to rest in their efforts to fight insecurity in the country.

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Insecurity: Zamfara govt prioritising family - Matawalle’s aide

Meanwhile, in a previous report, the Zamfara state government was accused of prioritising family and friends over the welfare of the masses.

This allegation was made by Anas Abdullahi Kaura, the spokesperson to the former governor of Zamfara state, Matawalle, while speaking to reporters in Abuja.

Kaura expressed his displeasure over the current state of insecurity in Zamafara, stating that the current administration has yet to clamp down on the state's constant attacks and insecurity challenges.


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Nurudeen Lawal (Head of Politics and Current Affairs Desk) Nurudeen Lawal is an AFP-certified journalist with a wealth of experience spanning over 8 years. He received his B/Arts degree in Literature-in-English from OAU. Lawal is the Head of the Politics/CA Desk at, where he applies his expertise to provide incisive coverage of events. He was named the Political Desk Head of the Year (Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award 2023). He is also a certified fact-checker (Dubawa fellowship, 2020). Contact him at or +2347057737768.