By Wole Mosadomi
Over 60 gunmen have invaded Madaka village and some neighbouring communities in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, kidnapping scores of people and rustling cattle. The gunmen were said to have invaded the communities in the early hours of yesterday, fully armed.
An eyewitness told Vanguard that as the gunmen arrived the communities in motorcycles, they started shooting sporadically to scare residents, as they looted homes and shops.
“Beside looting the shops and houses, not less than 100 herds of cattle were rustled, while some villagers were also kidnapped.
“The gunmen also forced those kidnapped as informants to lead them from house to house to attack other residents and ended up looting their houses, carting away cash and other properties.
“They also used those kidnapped as shields to make it very difficult for the local vigilantes to attack them and what we later discovered is that the gunmen were headed towards Allawa in Shiroro Local Government Area,” the witness said.
He could not immediately disclose if any life was lost but disclosed that men of the Nigerian Air Force quickly rose to the occasion, as they flew swiftly to the communities to bombard the bandits and protect the villagers.
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Chairman of Rafi Local Government Council, Alhaji Ismaila Isa Modibo, could not be reached for comments as his handset was switched off.
However, the Director-General of Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Inga, confirmed the attack. “It is unfortunate that there was an invasion on another local government area in the state this morning (yesterday) but I don’t have the details yet,” Inga said.