Armed bandits continued their onslaught on Niger communities on Sunday as no fewer than four persons were killed and 150 cattle rustled in early- morning attacks on about six communities in Shiroro local government area of the state
The heavily-armed bandits were said to have arrived the area at about 7:00am on Sunday morning and moved from one community to another in their motorcycles numbering about 30 with each motorcycle carrying three persons.
An eyewitness in one of the communities told our correspondent that the bandits moved with the speed of light and hardly spent three minutes in a community.
According to our source, most of the communities invaded by the bandits were empty due to the exodus of the villagers from their homes as a result of previous attacks which rendered over 2,000 people homeless.
The bandits, angered by the empty villages, decided to set the houses and their property on fire, including foodstuff.
The communities affected in this latest attacks, include Galadiman kogo, Yinakpa, Kapna, Aleyin, Rafin Senyin, Amuko, Farin Doki, Gope and Gangagy all in Erena district, the epic center of banditry activities in Shiroro local government area.
Our source disclosed that the bandits killed two people in Yinakpa and one each in Kapna and Farin Doki communities, adding that coincidentally three of the victims were on their way to farm when they met their death.
At seyin village popularly referred to as Bakin Ruwa (River Bank), the chairman of fishermen (Sarkin Ruwa) in the area, Mallam Talagbe Saidu had all his 100 cattle taken away from him.
Also at Rafin Sayin village, the home of the former chairman of Shiroro local government, Alhaji Audu Yerima, no fewer than 50 cows were rustle by the bandits.
It was further gathered that the bandits were said to have informed the villagers of their coming because according to them (bandits) they had bought their way.
“The operation last for closed to four hours without any resistance from anywhere. They had already told the people that they are coming and that they had already bought their way.
“When the bandits were moving from one community to another, carrying out the attacks, we saw three different helicopters hovering around but we did not know their mission”, our source said, adding that “but certainly not to attack or repel the bandits.
“They operated without any challenge, but like I told you earlier, these bandits move with their motorcycles with tge speed of light. It’s like they were working with time. The way they rode their motorcycles was very scary even when they were moving the cattle, they were always in a hurry,” he added.
When contacted, the Police Public Relation (PPRO), Niger State command, Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the latest attacks, saying that already security agents comprising the police, the army, civil defense and local vigilantes had been deployed to the areas.