John Adams, Minna
An unspecified number of gunmen in the early hours of today (Friday) invaded Rumache community in Kukoki Ward of Shiroro local government killed the village head, Mallam Ahmad Yakubu Rumache and kidnapped his 23-year-old son.
The bandits, which the Chairman of Shiroro local government, Mallam Suleman Chukuba said invaded the community at 2:00am on Friday also kidnapped 16 villagers.
This latest attack is coming barely one week after the kidnap of the son of the District Head of Beni and 32 others in an early- morning invasion of Beni community in Munya local government of the state; the kidnappers had demanded N49 million ransom for the release of their victims.
Also three weeks ago, a similar bandits’ invasion on other Niger communities in Munya local government area led to the killing of a captain and three other soldiers in an ambush attack.
Last night’s attack by the bandits saw the villagers being dispossessed of their property, including cash, and setting of their houses ablaze before abducting their victims.
According to the council chairman who confirmed the attack to our correspondent, the incident came two days after similar attacks were carried out by some heavily- armed bandits on four communities of Magami, Gungu, Zongoro and Masuku, all in Shiroro local government area where six people were abducted but one released half way into the journey.
It was gathered that several others sustained various degrees of injuries from gunshots and other dangerous weapons during the attacks.
The chairman of the council while confirming the attacks and the death of the village head said the villagers were taken unawares and it was difficult to ascertain the number of bandits who invaded the village since the attack occurred in the night.
“The attack happened at midnight around 2:00am. They were many and they took the villagers unawares. No one could ascertain their number because it was dark.
“As for casualties, only the village head of Rumache was killed while his son was kidnapped.
“However, a day before this attack, the bandits invaded four communities and kidnapped 17 people in Magami, Gungu, Zongoro and Masuku villages.”
He, however, disclosed that the policemen from Erena Division and some vigilantes were currently scouting the bushes and the villages.
The chairman then appealed for urgent government intervention to bring the incessant attacks on the area under control, stressing that Shiroro local government needs nothing other than prayers and government intervention.
“I need government intervention because of the way this thing is going; we need government intervention.”
One of the children of the deceased village head, Al-Mustapha Ahmed, also confirmed the death of his father, expressing shock over the attack that left his father dead and one of his brothers abducted.
He lamented that the government had deliberately remained complacent on the lingering security challenges currently rocking the whole Shiroro local government.
According to Ahmed, “attacks of this nature have almost become a daily routine, thereby constantly subjecting unarmed and peace-loving people to ceaseless tension, fear, anxiety, and panic.
“It is no longer news that inhabitants of these affected parts of the local government have since been robbed of security, forcing us to be running helter-skelter for security and safety somewhere else. People have been displaced and ironically made circumstantial but avoidable refugees in their own ancestral land.”