Armed bandits were again on rampage in some Niger communities on Saturday, killing 11 people, kidnapping scores of others, and raping women. The incident took place about 6am at Kudodo, Galapai, Dnakpala, Makera, and Dnalgwa villages of Shiroro Local Government Area.
The senator for Niger East Senatorial District, Alhaji Sani Musa, sent an urgent appeal for intervention to the federal government to halt the carnage. The distress message in the aftermath of the attacks was the second by the lawmaker in one week following similar assaults by gunmen.
Saturday’s invasion was said to have been carried out by about 50 armed bandits who left 16 of the villagers wounded. A victim of the attack, simply named Saidu, had his two wives raped by four of the bandits in his presence before he was shot dead.
The bandits rustled about 300 cattle.
The attack came nearly one week after bandits sacked eight communities in the same Shiroro Local Government Area. Six people, including a Village Head, were killed in that attack, while his son and 15 others were kidnapped.
The Saturday morning attack also came 24 hours after another set of bandits invaded four communities, namely, Kusherki, Dakolo, Amale, and Ishaw, in Paikoro Local Government Area, killing a postgraduate student of the Othman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Mathias Livinus.
The senator representing the area confirmed the latest attack to THISDAY, lamenting, “The situation is getting out of hand.” Musa, who only three days before visited an Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) camp in Kuta where over 1,000 people were camped, described the recent onslaught by bandits “as nothing but a declaration of war on my people”.
He said, “Innocent families are being displaced, killed, raped, kidnapped, with community members in a state of despair.
“As the attacks continue, more villagers in my constituency are awaiting their fate, as no sign of succour comes their way. It is confirmed that the bandits attacked all through the night to this afternoon and most communities are in grave danger.”
Musa appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and all the security services to come to their aid “without further delay”.
Speaking to newsmen on Saturday evening, Musa said, “Residents of Shiroro Local Government Area in Niger State came under heavy attacks this morning when armed bandits in their numbers invaded the villages of Kudodo, Galapai, Dnakpala, Makera, and Dnalagwa, killing scores, raping and abducting people.
“In what seems to be coordinated attacks, adjoining villages, like Amale, Tunga, and Adunu, were not spared, as the bandits left on their heels more deaths, destruction, and abduction.”
Lamenting the spate of killings by armed men, Musa stated, “My people are under siege. For months now, most local governments in Niger East have been under the menacing grip of bandits with no succour in sight.
“We are, again, calling on Mr President and all the security chiefs to come to our aid without further delay as the people risk continued attacks from these ungodly killers.” Musa also called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant authorities to respond to the plight of “my people who are helplessly in state of fear and despair”.