Again, Scores Killed as Bandits Raid Niger Communities
By Laleye Dipo
Several communities in Niger State on Friday came under heavy siege of bandits leaving many dead, some hospitalised and cattle rustled.
Property worth millions of naira were also stolen by the bandits.
The bandits, in their numbers, raided Wushishi, Rafi and Lavun Local Government Areas and held sway in communities till the early hours of Saturday.
In Wushishi and Rafi council areas, 14 lives have been confirmed lost to attacks by the AK 47 carrying bandits just as search and rescue operation for many others who ran into the River Niger is still on. It is feared that many of them may have drowned.
THISDAY gathered that 11 of the deceased were buried in Wushishi according to Islamic rites Friday night, while the injured have now been brought to the IBB Specialist Hospital in Minna for treatment.
Many villagers, mostly young girls and women, were kidnapped and taken to unknown places even as the bandits reportedly rustled large number of cattle and made away with many motorcycles.
An eyewitness said that some of those who managed to escape the onslaught are now taking refuge in schools in Wushishi town.
Many travellers were also stranded on the Zungeru-Minna road Friday because they were advised by villagers to remain where they were as a result of the activities of the bandits. They only continued their journey early Saturday morning.
The bandits also stormed Batati town in the Lavun Local Government of the state, kidnapped five people, injured two and rustled a number of cattle.
The bandits, said to be about 10 in number, stormed the town in a Toyota Hillux van, as they were said to have joined the Muslim congregation to offer the 7.45 pm prayers after which they started firing into the air causing stampede.
In the confusion that followed, many people were injured and were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
It was gathered that the bandits sped away in their vehicle with their victims taking the Gbangbagi village road.
The bandits, according to a relation of one of the kidnapped victims, are now demanding N10 million for the release of each of the five kidnapped victims.
Worried by the incident, the first in his emirate, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman of the state Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, has reportedly summoned an emergency meeting of all districts and village heads in his emirate, scheduled to hold in the Etsu Nupe’s court.
The police is yet to speak on the issue as neither the state police boss nor the command’s Public Relations Officer could be reached for their comments.