Like north-western states, the last few days have been days of sorrows, tears, and blood in Niger State as bandits ravaged communities killing tens, kidnapping a Permanent Secretary, Dr Ibrahim Garba, of the Niger Ministry of Transport, and his son.
But the bandits also got their fair share of deaths, though Governor Abubakar Sani Bello did not give details of the casualties on the bandits’ side.
During the week, 10 persons were reportedly burnt alive, several others killed while seven women were kidnapped by bandits during an attack in the Kachiwe community in Sarkin Pawa Ward of Munya Local Government Area.
The Secretary of Munya the Local Government Area, James Jagaba narrated tragic incident.
“The bandits set all the houses ablaze, burnt ten people alive, abducted ten women and slaughtered the others. On their way after carrying out their heinous act, they met two people whose vehicle broke down, they stopped and killed those two people then burnt down their vehicle. In the process, three of the abducted women escaped and the bandits went with the other seven women.
“The whole community was wiped out by the bandits, nobody survived. We got to know about how they carried out the activities from the women who escaped and are still in shock.”
The bandits, he added, moved to Shapè village under the Sarki Pawa ward and slaughtered nine people while others in the community took to their heels adding that they also killed seven people in the Gogope ward.
“We were told that all efforts to reach the security personnel proved abortive because, for some days, there has not been mobile network service in Munya local government. The people could not reach out to the security agencies neither could they reach out to the council. At the council, we got the message very late and efforts to get the security was not possible….
“The three people who survived are currently in shock and suffering from trauma. They need to be helped medically and otherwise because all they have has been burnt down by the bandits,” he said
Dr. Garba was kidnapped with his son on Friday in Zungeru, according to State Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Monday Kuryas.
He said father and son were siezed from their home in Zungeru in Wushishi Local Government Area after a wedding Dr. Garba’s house.
“We have since deployed armed security personnel in the area to rescue the victims….All we require from members of the public is to assist us with credible information on movement of dubious characters in their midst for necessary action.
Meantime, a Local Government Area (LGA) Chairman has cried out that Boko Haram terrorists have captured over 500 communities in eight wards of Shiroro LGA.
Hon Suleiman Chukuba, told journalists on Friday that the insurgents have attempted to incorporate and recruit residents of the communities to become Boko Haram members.
“They incorporate the people of those communities by telling them they have arms and money to give them so they can assist them in fighting the government….
“Shiroro Local Government has an uncountable number of Boko Haram [fighters]….
“I have the proof being that I am the Executive Chairman, the Chief Security Officer of the local government. When they go to the various communities, what they tell them is that ‘We don’t want primary, secondary schools. We only want Islamiyya schools,” Chukuba said.
He appealed to the Federal Government to bring more security personnel to the area to help dislodge the criminals who have made Shiroro their home.
And on a visit to an hospital to see injured soldiers, State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has confirmed the death of two soldiers and some injured in the recent Kagara attack.
Governor Sani Bello gave the confirmation when he visited 12 of the injured soldiers receiving treatment at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) Specialist Hospital, Minna.
Speaking to journalists, the Governor, according to his spokesperson, Mrs. Mary Noel-Berje, said the injured soldiers are responding to treatment and will be on their feet in no distant time.
He expressed sadness over the situation and disclosed that some of the injured soldiers were taken to Kaduna for medical attention.
He said though no exact casualty figure of the bandits, but said they suffered heavy casualty.
The Governor maintained that the bandits have alliance with terrorists considering their increasing number and the way they plan and carry out their attacks.
He said the situation calls for a review adding that aside the kinetic efforts being made, a support system will be evolved for those deprived of their livelihood through banditry or cattle rustling.
The Governor however enjoined the citizens to be security conscious and be mindful of their environment as well as report any suspicious activities around them pointing out that the war is for all and not only the security agencies as it is threatening the live of everyone.
He also raised concern over some rural communities who for fear of attack, harbour bandits warning that it will not last for long.
“Very soon we will tag those communities as same elements as bandits. If you are harbouring any bandits and you know, you are one even if you don’t carry gun because you are risking the lives of our security agents.
We have lost quite a few of them since it started and we don’t intend to lose more. What we are calling for is a safe environment and for every one to support the ongoing operation by the security agents”, he said.