John Adams, Minna
Armed bandits at the weekend killed four people and rustled 150 cattle in about six communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
The heavily armed bandits allegedly arrived the area at about 7:00am Sunday morning and moved from one community to another on their motorcycles; numbering about 30 with each motorcycle carrying three persons.
A witness in one of the communities told Daily Sun that the bandits moved like a speed of light with their motorcycles and hardly spent three minutes in a community.
According to the source, most of the communities were empty 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 food produce.
The communities include: Galadiman kogo, Yinakpa, kapna, Aleyin, Rafin Senyin, Amuko, Farin Doki, Gope and Gangagy all in Erena District, the epicenter of banditry in Shiroro Local Government Area.
The source said that the bandits killed two people in Yinakpa and one each, in Kapna and Farin Doki communities. He said that coincidentally three of the victims were on their way to farm when they were killed.
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 Area, Alhaji Audu Yerima, no fewer than 50 cows were rustled by the bandits.
Daily Sun further gathered that the bandits allegedly informed the villagers of their coming.
“The bandits bought their way,” the source alleged.”The operation lasted for about four hours without resistance from anywhere. When the bandits were carrying out the attacks, we saw three different helicopters hovering around but we did not know their mission but certainly not to repel the bandits. It’s like they were working with time. The way they rode the motorcycles was very scary, even when they were moving the cattle, they were in a hurry.”
The Police Public Relation (PPRO), Niger State, Wasiu Abiodun confirmed the attacks. He said that already security agents comprising the police, the army, civil defense and local vigilantes have been deployed to the areas.