March 9, 2022

Bandits kill 65 persons, abduct others in Niger, Kebbi

Declaration of bandits terrorists a step long overdue — Akingbolu


By Wole Mosadomi & Haruna Aliyu

About 65 persons mostly members of the local vigilante have been reportedly killed by bandits in border communities in Niger and Kebbi states between Sunday and yesterday.

It was gathered that the killings took place in Tungan Magajiya, Rijau local government area and Paikpa village in Munya local government area of Niger State and Sakaba local government area of Kebbi State.

A source disclosed that the 60 local vigilantes were killed at Sakaba, which is a border village between Niger and Kebbi states, Sunday night, at about 9:00 pm in an ambush.

It was gathered that a popular cattle rearer, Shanu, and three others in Unguwar Isah, Sakaba LGA and an undisclosed number of cattle belonging to the people of the village were taken away by bandits.

On Monday, according to one Sulaiman, the leader of the local vigilante known as “Yansa kai” Kottor was killed by bandits and scores of villagers were also taken hostage.

However, the bandits, yesterday, launched a dreaded attack killing at least 68 local vigilantes and other civilians in Yombe area a few kilometres away from Dirin Daji town.

Another source said the vigilantes from Sakaba in Kebbi State and their counterparts from Tungan Magajia and Rijau in Niger State were said to be on a joint patrol along the area due to the incessant gunmen attacks on the border communities when they were killed.“Twelve of the victims were from Rijau while the remaining 48 are from Sakaba and Tungan Magajiya.”

According to a source close to Rijau, the vigilantes were on the trail of the gunmen said to be over 100 after receiving information about their movement and unknown to them (vigilantes) an informant had alerted the gunmen that they were being trailed and an ambush was laid on them where they were massacred.

In another development, a middle-aged man has been arrested by the people in Rijau with 20 numbers of 25 litres jerry can of petrol heading towards Warari village which has been deserted by the people due to gunmen activities.

The 20 Jerry can of fuel were being conveyed in a Toyota Corolla car when he was accosted by the villagers who demanded to know the destination of the commodity.

His unsatisfactory explanation led to his being beaten to a point of death before he was handed over to the soldiers on patrol in the area.

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However, in Paikpa village in Munya local government area, gunmen killed no fewer than five villagers while several others were seriously injured in a midnight raid.

An unspecified number of cattle were stolen from the people by the rampaging gunmen, whom eyewitnesses said stormed the community at about 11:00 pm, riding on motorcycles with each of them carrying AK47 rifles and other dangerous weapons.

The gunmen were said to have entered the village through Luwi community making the villagers run in different directions after which the gunmen raided njita and Chibani where they kidnapped many people and rustled cattle before making their way to Paikpa village.

According to a source close to Chibani village, “The gunmen operated for several hours searching all the houses in the village without any response to distress calls to the security men stationed at Sarkinpawa before escaping into the Chikun forest in Kaduna state.

Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, who confirmed the story, said he was yet to get the exact number of casualties.

“There was a raid of some Communities in the state a few days ago as they, gunmen, entered Paikpa late on Monday during which they killed some people and also abducted some people and rustled a lot of cattle.

“Men of the Civilian JTF and local vigilante engaged the bandits in battle which lasted hours making the gunmen escape into the bush”, the SSG remarked.

The attack was also confirmed by the Kebbi State command spokesperson, Nafiu Abubakar, who said that “we are aware of the attack but yet to ascertain the number of casualties as we are still compiling the report on the attack.”

Vanguard News Nigeria