John Adams, Minna
It was a black Easter Sunday for some communities in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State as armed bandits unleashed terror on the people in a midnight raid, killing three and abducted 16 others.
The communities that came under attack at about 10:30 pm were Maikujeri, Tasha, and Shamuyambu, all in Rafi local government.
A young boy whose identity could not be immediately ascertained was among those killed at Tasha village.
The latest attack is coming about weeks after men of the Nigeria Air force bombed the bandits’ hideouts, killing a number of them.
According to a source close to the communities which lived in a cluster, 16 villagers were initially abducted from the three communities but three of the victims managed to escape on their way.
A young schoolgirl was openly raped by the bandits at Maikujeri town while a pastor attached to Baptist Church in the town, Joseph Dakinwasha was shot by the bandits.
The pastor who sustained serious gunshot injury was initially admitted at Maikujeri hospital for first aid treatment but was later moved to the Kagara General Hospital.
According to our source, “many other villagers who were wounded have been admitted at a hospital in Maikujeri one of the towns raided by the bandits
“The bandits were about 30 in number; they rode on motorcycles and were shooting sporadically sending villagers fleeing for their lives
“Some of us ran into the bush and remained there for almost two hours that the bandits operated,” the source added.
The source told our correspondent that the bandits apart from abducting the 13 villagers went away with several household equipment including foodstuffs and also rustled some cattle.
The state Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Wasiu Abiodun, could not be reached to confirm the story. But a top official of the Rafi local government council who did not want his name in print confirmed the story.