At least five persons including a graduate of the Federal College of Education Kontagora have been killed as bandits numbered over 100 invaded Angwar Mahogi in the Kusherki district and Rafingora towns of Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State on. The latest incident, which came as the government and people of Niger State await the release of 27 students of Government Science College, Kagara and 15 staff abducted over a week ago, also led to the abduction of eight others by bandits in the Thursday attack. The name of the slain graduate at Angwar Mahogi was given as Dauda Daniel while Mohammed Nura was mentioned as one of those killed at Rafingora.
A reliable source close to the community told journalists that one of the victims, Dauda Daniel, had already fixed his wedding for the 6th of next month before he met his death at the hands of the bandits. The source gave the names of those kidnapped at Rafingora as Asmau Kafaya, Namaza Audu, Nahima Musa, Yahuza Magaji and Safiyanu Rafingora.
The bandits arrived the community in commandolike manner, riding on over 30 motorcycles and shot sporadically to scare away the villagers. It was a result of running for their lives that the deceased were hit by bullets. Our source also disclosed that several cattle were rustled from the communities during the raids which lasted for close to three hours without any resistance. It was gathered that a helicopter was seen hovering in the sky throughout the period of the attack, apparently giving protection to the bandits.
A top government official who preferred anonymity confirmed the story but the Police are yet to issue any statement on this latest development that occurred in the same local government area as that where 42 persons including 27 students were abducted 10 days ago who are still in captivity.
However, efforts to secure the release of the victims have not yielded any fruitful dividend, with this latest attack coming barely 24 hours after the state government began the gradual withdrawal of local vigilantes as part of conditions given by the bandits for the release of the abducted school children and road to possible peace in the area.