There are increasing fears that Nigeria’s largest State, Niger, known for its electricity power infrastructure that keeps the country’s economy running, may have been surrounded by bandits, who daily, kill, maim, and abduct at will.
Ditto for Kaduna State, reputed to have a hard-working Governor, but humbled by the activities of bandits.
In both states, there are frightening reports that keep security agents on their toes, where in many local government areas (LGAs), countless families have members either killed or kept by bandits in the forests.
Incidentally, both states have a working arrangement to tackle bandits, and have vowed not to pay ransom to free abductees, though there speculations of back-channel dealings with the criminals.
In Niger State, no effort is even made by the state information machinery to keep indigenes and residents abreast of goings-on, like Kaduna.
“That state and its chief executive appears overwhelmed and lost in the myriad of crimes there. The man has shouted himself hoarse to the Federal Government and he hasn’t seen any tangible result. Together with his colleagues in the North-West, they see all that is happening, but can’t speak for party loyalty and cohesion, they don’t want to be seen to be rocking the boat,” a close party watcher said.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is so very lucky it is not the government at the centre, the APC robust propaganda machinery would have been in overdrive overheating the polity,” the source added.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, it was gathered, on Tuesday took a trip to Rafi LGA, which lost its most prominent traditional ruler, Emir of Kagara, Alhaji Salihu Tanko. Most on the convoy were at alert, having to drive through the notorious Kagara-Tegina-Zungeru-Minna road.
Less than three weeks after 40 NSTA passengers were kidnapped, gunmen again abducted over 50 passengers along road.
Speaking on Tuesday in Minna, a source told journalists that the gunmen blocked the road at Kundu town, a few kilometres from Zungeru town.
According to reports, the passengers were in the three vehicles who were abducted and taken to an unknown destination while the vehicles were left by the roadside.
Similarly, armed bandits kidnapped unknown numbers of villagers at Gidigori town in Rafi Local Government Area burning five cars and carting away valuables.
Confirming the incident, senior government officials who craved anonymity said nothing has been heard from the bandits to enable the authorities to know the identities of those kidnapped.
In Kaduna, men believed to be bandits, according to a report in The Guardian, have killed 21 persons in Igabi and Kajuru local councils of Kaduna State. However, the military also caused havoc on the side of the bandits by air raid, which neutralised the gunmen in their camps.
In an update on the security situation in Kaduna yesterday, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, stated: “In Igabi local council, armed bandits barricaded the Birnin Yero-Tami road and killed one Hussaini Dari. One Dahiru Saidu was left injured, and is now receiving treatment in a hospital.
“At Gwada village in Igabi, an attack by gunmen left Yahuza Sale and Garba Sule dead. In another incident, armed bandits invaded Ungwan Kure, and killed two others. They also attacked Amawan Dadi Rugan Jauru settlements. A resident identified simply as Likita was shot dead.”https://fe8e9700ba98ed8876e88e1efa8b1dd8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.htmlhttps://fe8e9700ba98ed8876e88e1efa8b1dd8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Governor Nasir el-Rufai reportedly noted the incidents with sadness, and sent his condolences to the families of those killed, while praying for the repose of their souls. He also wished those injured a quick recovery.
Meanwhile, air missions were conducted over criminals’ hideouts in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi and Chikun local councils, as well as Southern Kaduna area, leading to the death of many bandits.
Aruwan added: “Air platforms conducted armed reconnaissance over locations spanning Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi and Chikun local councils. Locations covered include Sabon Birni, Maidaro, Ngade Allah, Kuduru, Damari, Dogon Dawa, Kidandan, Galadimawa, Rikau, Yadi and the Kaduna/Birnin Gwari road.”
▪︎ Additional report by Channels Television