JOHN ADAMS, Minna
The death toll in Sunday’s attack on some communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger state has risen to 70 as armed bandits continued their onslaught on the people unabated.
No fewer than eight communities are currently under siege from the bandits, forcing over 1,000 people to relocate from their homes.
Our correspondent gathered that the number of those who have being killed by the bandits swelled from 12 when the attack was first reported on Sunday, June 9, 2019, as the attacks spread to more villages.
It was further gathered that several people who sustained various degrees of gun injuries are currently receiving treatment in various hospitals in Kuta, Erena and Zumba while the displaced villagers are seeking refuge in seven IDP camps in the area.
But police, however, confirmed that only an additional 12 people died from the only one it confirmed on Sunday.
The police command Public Relation Officer said addition security personnel had been drafted to the affected communities but did not give the number.
However, according to a report made available to newsmen in Minna on Thursday by Senator David Umaru in whose constituency (Niger East Senatorial district) the massacre occurred, within the last six days, 58 people have killed by the bandits suspected to be cattle rustlers.
Giving the breakdown, Senator Umoru pointed out that 19 people had died in Kwaki village, 14 in Barden Dawaki village while eight died in Ajatawyi village.
Other casualties, he said include seven dead in Gwassa, five in Ajayin Bataro, four others in Bwailo, three in Baton village and two reported dead in Giji village.
Our correspondent also learnt that over 800 heads of cattle have been rustled during the period.
Speaking with our correspondent, Senator David Umaru appealed to President Muhammdu Buhari to come to the rescue of Niger East constituents from the ravaging bandits.
He pleaded for the president to order the relocation of security chiefs to the area to immediately curtail the carnage.
According to him, “I am in pains and sorrow over the killing of my people by armed bandits who have occupied most of our communities in the past few days. It is horrible that over 69 people have been killed and 1,000 displaced and yet there is no respite for the good people of my constituency.”
He said that it had become apparent that the situation was beyond the capacity of the police, adding that “I, therefore, appealed to President Buhari to order the military into the area to stop the bandits.”
He added, “I am also calling on the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 1 Div Nigeria Army, Kaduna, to deploy more personnel to save the villagers from the onslaught of the bandits.”
Umaru stressed the need for the state government to give priority to the provision of adequate to logistics in assisting security agencies in the area.
Meanwhile, the state deputy governor has visited the injured at their various hospitals where he assured the people of the government’s determination to secure their lives and property.
The deputy governor who was accompanied by various heads of security agents in the state said that the government woud leave no stone unturned in tracking down the perpetrators of the attack and bringing them to book.