By Bashir Bello, with agency reports
Suspected bandits, on Sunday evening, opened fire on the motorcade of Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, who was on his way to condole with victims of a previous attack on a community in Gusau Local Government Area.
This came as bandits again attacked Batsari Alhaji village in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State, killing two persons, barely 24 hours after the visist of wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, to the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp in the area.
Eyewitnesses said the governor’s convoy came under attack while he was enroute Lilo community to sympathise with victims of the attack on Saturday.
Bandits had earlier on Saturday, killed eight persons and and injured 18 others, after attacking Lilo community, on the outskirts of Gusau, the state capital.
But the state government in a swift reaction said it was governor who rather, alongside security agents, who took the battle to the bandits.
But the eyewitnesses said the bandits took advantage of the bushy terrain, and opened fire on the governor’s convoy.
A source, who said he was unsure of the number of casualties, said the governor’s security details quickly returned fire and were able to protect and evacuate their principal.
However, Acting Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Yusuf Idris, said in a statement, yesterday, that it was the governor who led security operatives for an ‘operation’ to rout out bandits from their hideouts.
He said the governor was accompanied by his deputy, Mahadi Aliyu-Gusau, the state’s security heads and other dignitaries.
According to him, the team was able “to chase bandits at their camps during the unannounced visit to the area.”
Idris noted that the bandits abandoned their hideouts and fled after the onslaught by the team.
Bandits kill 2 in Katsina
Meanwhile, barely 24 hours after the visit of the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, to the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State, armed bandits again attacked a village, Batsari Alhaji village in the area, killing two persons.
Spokesperson of Katsina State Police Command, SP Gambo Isah, who confirmed the incident, said the bandits stormed the area on Sunday night but were resisted by his men and officers on ground who swung into action to repel them.
He said the combine team of the Nigerian Army and police engaged the bandits in a fierce battle and chased them into the forest.
It was gathered from sources in the area that the bandits carted away the livestock of villagers but the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Isah, said the bandits fled, abandoning the livestock.
He said some of the livestock had been returned to their owners, while some of the villagers were combing the bush in search of their livestock.
The Police scribe urged the residents to cooperate with the security agencies and provide them with useful information to help in the fight to curb the menace.
“I urge the people to report any scrupulous element and movements in their areas, and not wait until they are attacked before reporting to security agents.
“The bandits stormed the area in their numbers but we resisted them in a fierce battle. A combine team of the Nigerian Army and Police chased the bandits into the forest. In the process, they abandoned the livestock they rustled. And villagers were combing the bush for their livestock while some returned to their owners.
The people were happy with our quick response because it was timely. Two villagers were killed but our men are now destroying the camps of the bandits,” he said.
It would be recalled that armed bandits struck in Yargamji village in Batsari LGA last Wednesday, killing 18 persons and farmers working on their farmlands.