From John Adams, Minna
Bandits in their numbers, yesterday morning, invaded some communities in Munya Local Government Area of Niger State and sacked over 400 people from their homes.
The bandits, who were still operating in those communities as at the time of filing this report (12noon), were said to have completely burnt down three of the communities they invaded.
Although the exact number of casualties was not known at the time of this report, a number of families had declared their relatives missing, including women and children.
A source close to one of the communities told Daily Sun that only men of the local vigilantes were on ground to provide some level of security, but added that the bandits overwhelmed them, and they had to make a retreat.
Worst hit in the attack is Kachiwe and other surrounding communities where the bandits were said to have burnt down entire households as the people ran into the bush for safety.
The invasion of Kachiwe is the second in the last two months as a similar attack saw the burning alive of 10 people, several others slaughtered and seven women kidnapped by bandits.
Other communities affected in yesterday’s attack include Sabon and Sohon Kabula, Gidan mangoro and Zagzaga, among others.
Our source disclosed that the entire communities have been turned to ghost homes as the people have relocated to nearby communities.
He said there was no response yet from the security agents at Sarkin Power, the headquarters of the local government, leaving only the ill equipped and limited number of local vigilantes to confront the bandits.
“There are security agents, but they are just stationed at Sarkin Power; they are aware of the attacks, but no response yet from them. The vigilantes had to run back because of the numbers of the bandits who are over 60, and all armed.”
However, a government official who spoke to Daily Sun on condition of anonymity, said “the situation is serious. As I speak with you now, the bandits are said to be moving from one community to the other in their large numbers.
“Their numbers overwhelmed the local vigilantes and the hunters on ground, but the government is trying to mobilise vigilantes from other areas to complement their numbers.
“We don’t have the number of casualties yet, but in an attack like this, there will surely be casualties. The bandits are still attacking the people,” he said.
The Council Chairman, Mallam Garba Mohammed Daza, was said to have taken to his heels and gone underground, and all his cell phones switched off as the people said they could not reach him.