Again, Bandits Storm Niger Communities in Black Friday Raid
Laleye Dipo in Minna
A week after a deadly raid on several communities in Niger State, some other communities in the state came under heavy attack by bandits last Friday, leaving many dead. Some were hospitalised, with cattle rustled, and property worth millions of Naira stolen.
The armed bandits, who were many in number, raided the Wushishi, Rafi and Lavun local governments on Friday and operated in communities in the local government areas till the early hours of Saturday.
In the Wushishi and Rafi council areas, about 14 lives were confirmed lost to the attack by the AK 47 wielding bandits. A search and rescue operation for many others who ran into the River Niger was still on at the time of going to press, and many were feared drowned.
Eleven bodies of some of those that died in the raid were recovered buried in Wushishi according to Islamic rites, THISDAY was told on Friday night, while the injured were brought to the IBB specialist hospital in Minna for treatment.
Many villagers, mostly young girls and women, were kidnapped and taken to unknown places just as the bandits reportedly rustled a large number of cattle and made away with many motorcycles.
An eyewitness told THISDAY that some of those that managed to escape the assault immediately took refuge in some facilities in Wushishi town.
The development also caused many travellers to be stranded on the Zungeru-Minna road, because they were advised by villagers to remain where they were as a result of the activities of the bandits.
On the same Friday, bandits stormed Batati town in the Lavun Local Government Area of the state, kidnapping five people, injuring two, while rustled a number of cattle.
The bandits, said to be about 10 in number, stormed the town in a Toyota Hillux van and first joined the Muslim congregation to offer the 7.45 pm prayers after which they started firing into the air, causing astampede.
In the confusion that followed, many people were injured. But the bandits sped away in their vehicle with their victims following the Gbangbagi village road.
According to a relative of one of the kidnapped victims, the bandits have already demanded N10 million for the release of each of the five kidnapped victims.
Worried by the incident, being the first in his emirate, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman of the State Council of Traditional rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, immediately summoned an emergency meeting of all districts and village heads in his emirate.
The member representing Wushishi constituency in the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Bashir Lokogoma, when contacted by THISDAY, confirmed the incident but said, “I don’t have the details”.
The police are yet to speak on the issues, as neither the state police boss nor the command’s spokesperson could be reached for their comments.