John Adams, Minna
Speaker of the legislative house of Munya local government area in Niger state, Mallam Musa Alhassan and the cashier of the council, have been abducted along with 23 others by armed bandits in two separate attacks in the state.
The bandits went on rampage on Tuesday and Thursday, kidnaping no fewer than 25 people in two separate attacks in Rafi and Shiroro local government areas of the state.
While 12 people including the speaker, and the cashier, simply identified as Jonathan were abducted on Thursday evening on their way to Sarkin Pawa, the headquarters of the Council, 13 people, mostly farmers were kidnapped in Rafi local government area on Tuesday.
It was gathered that the Speaker of the LG legislative house and the Cashier were returning from Minna when they were ambushed and kidnapped 10 kilometers to Sarikin- Pawa, headquarters of the Munya local government. At least 10 farmers were reportedly picked up from their farms in Kabula town of the local government.
However during the raid in Rafi local government, one person whose name was given as Salisu Buhari was reportedly killed and another villager described as Lukeman Yau was shot in the leg and had to be taken to the General Hospital at Birnin-Gwari for treatment.
A source close to the community told our correspondent that among those kidnapped were three women and two children. The raids took place at Kwangoma, Rings and Kusherki districts of Rafi local government area.
According to our source, the bandits invaded the communities riding on motorcycles with each carrying two others apart from the rider.
“They shot into the air and caused panic among the people”, the source said on telephone.
Some of the bandits were also said to be moving from house to house taking valuable items including cash and food items, which they loaded on their motorcycles before disappearing into the bush.
It was further gathered that five villagers, all women namely, Laure Abdullahi, Aisha Abdullahi, Habiba Abdullahi, Shamshiya Abdullahi and Jamila Abubakar managed to escape from the bandits.
Another group of bandits according to the eyewitness blocked the Pandogari- kusherki road in the same Rafi LGA during which an unspecified number of people were kidnapped .
Those kidnapped were said to be going to the farm for harvest in a Toyota Canter truck when they ran into a roadblock mounted by the bandits.
All efforts to get official confirmation of the incidents from the Police Public Relations Officer, Niger State Police Command, ASP Wasiu Abiodun proved abortive as he did not respond to calls made to his cell phone.
However, the Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, NSEMA Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Inga when contacted confirmed the incident in Sarkinpawa where the cashier and Speaker of the legislative arm were abducted. He said the duo were traveling with two others when they ran into the bandits. Inga said nothing has been heard from the abductors.