Bandits have killed 22 people, among them 17 vigilantes, a police officer and a woman in three local government areas of Niger State. The bandits also injured several others and abducted more than 30 people. The New Telegraph was informed that the bandits killed about 17 vigilantes in Dukku town in the Rijau Local Government Area on Wednesday.
The vigilantes, however, killed three of the over 100 bandits who attacked the village on about 50 motorcycles. It was learnt that the Dukku community, worried by the frequent attacks, had mobilised to take the battle to the bandits said to be in the Iri forest. However, the plan was leaked, so the bandits ambushed the vigilantes in the forest. During the encounter, 17 vigilantes and three bandits lost their lives. The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Muhammmad Sani Idris, said the number of those killed could not be ascertained.
It was learnt the bodies of the vigilantes were still in the bush under the control of bandits, who vowed not to surrender them for burial. Also, the Chairman of Rijau Local Government, Alhaji Bawa Bello, confirmed the incident yesterday on the phone.
He said: “Yes, it happened. We killed some of the bandits and the bandits killed some of our men. “I have submitted a written report to the commissioner for local government who is our boss. He should give you the details.” However, the Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, could not be reached to give details of the attack. Meanwhile, the latest report on the Wednesday night attack on Kagara town revealed that five people, among them a woman and a policeman were killed while 12 others were abducted.
The Chairman of the local government, Alhaji Ismaila Modibo, said at least eight people were injured in the attack. Modibo, however, said that the bandits were not successful in their attempt to steal money from a first generation bank in the town. G ov e r n o r Abubakar Sani Bello, while acknowledging the enormity of the security challenges facing the state, assured the people that the state in active collaboration with President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies remained undaunted in its war against the lower societal elements making life miserable for the people. He appealed to the people of the state “to remain calm as the government is on top of the security situation in the state”.
His Deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, in company with the state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Adamu Usman, carried out an on-the-spot assessment of the town. In a similar development, a few hours after an evening of terror in Kagara, the headquarters of Rafi Local Government Area, bandits invaded a community in Shiroro Local Government Area and abducted 20 people. It was learnt that the bandits had invaded Adagbi village in Galkogo District in Shiroro about 8am yesterday. No death was reported. However, sources told our correspondent that 20 people were abducted in the village. One of the sources said the bandits invaded the village on motorcycles, shooting sporadically in the air.
The villagers had to take to their heels in order to avoid being abducted, as those abducted were mostly women. However, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Wasiu Abiodun, did not pick his calls to confirm the story.