John Adams, Minna
Armed banditry in Niger State has taken a different dimension as the bandits have warned the people in some communities in Rafi local government to stop moving between the hours of 4:00 pm and 7:00 am, the period which the people said the bandits operate.
As a result of this development, no member of the communities is seen outside during this period, leaving the bandits to always have a field day in carrying out their operation, mostly cattle rustling.
The bandits according to a source close to one of the communities, dropped the warning after they (bandits) killed three people, among them a woman and her daughter in one of their operations on Saturday evening.
The bandits also abducted not less than 10 villagers and took them into hiding.
The first incident occurred on Friday at Angwar Bulus and Tungan Makeri where the woman and her daughter were killed, while others sustained gunshot injuries.
The second incident where the 10 villagers were abducted occurred on Saturday at Maikujeri village, few hours after the state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello left Kagara town the headquarters of the local government where he had gone to visit the displaced people at the IDP camps.
Our correspondent gathered that the bandits demanded petrol as ransom for the release of some villagers kidnapped at Tungan Makeri and Angwar Bulus.
“I am aware that N80,000 worth of petrol in jerry cans was taken to the bandits in the bush so that those kidnapped can be released.
“They have their contacts in the villages and it is these contacts that the relations of the victims took the petrol to before they were taken into the forest,” our source said on phone.
He disclosed that “a lot of things are happening here and nobody is doing anything about it. It is a helpless situation here.”
The witness, however, debunked claims that those kidnapped were from the Baptist Church in Pandogari adding that “those kidnapped both are Christians and Muslims from the town.