By Wole Masadomi
MINNA—No fewer than eleven persons have been confirmed dead in Niger State, following an invasion by cattle rustlers of some villages in Shiroro local government area.
The villages mostly affected are Kwati, Basa and Kaore villages in Lakpan area of Shiroro local government where several cows were carted away.
Vanguard gathered that some local vigilantes put up a resistance by chasing away the rustlers during which eight of the rustlers were killed, while three of the vigilantes also lost their lives.
The Senator representing Niger East in the National Assembly, Senator David Umaru, in a condolence visit to the people of the area, decried the increasing activities of cattle rustlers in parts of the state, calling on government to step up security in the affected places.
“The activities of cattle rustlers are becoming a major concern because it has increased in recent times and the cow thieves seemed to be having their way. The only organisation that is helping to rescue the villagers is what they called the “Yanbaga or local vigilantes.
“This is a sort of rag tag arrangement by the communities to protect themselves from the cattle rustlers who are heavily armed. In the process, some of them have been killed,” he said.
Umaru described the activities of the rustlers as a major concern.
He said: “Government has to do something because these people in the villages are helpless. They are quite vulnerable because there is no presence of police.
“Some of these places do not even have a police post. Even where there are, they are ill- equipped to handle the situation. That is why we have seen the rise in the activities of the rustlers. The people have to rally round to help themselves.”
The village head of Kwati, Alhaji Barko Barua, appealed to government to give his subjects adequate security to enable them carry out normal farming activities. He also thanked the senator for identifying with them in this trying period.