From John Adams, Minna
The District Head of Yakila in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulhamid, has been abducted by gunmen, a local source tells Daily Sun.
Also kidnapped were a staff nurse at Garin-Gabas, whose name was given as Halima, and her two children.
An All Progressives Congress (APC) youth leader in the area, whose name was not known as at the time of this report, was also taken along with the other victims.
The incident took place at about 2:00 am Thursday when the armed bandits raided both Yakila and Garin-Gabas, the two adjoining villages in the district simultaneously.
The two villages are along Zungerun Tegina road, about 45 kilometres from Minna, the Niger State capital.
This latest abduction incident comes barely a week after the palace of the village head of Pangu in the Gunna district of the same Local Government Area was set ablaze by bandits.
Also burnt during that raid was a rural hospital built and donated to the community by the World Bank, including several houses and freshly harvested agricultural produce.
A source close to the two communities told our correspondent via telephone that the bandits who, said to be about 20 in number, invaded the communities, riding on motorcycles and carrying sophisticated guns including AK-47 rifles.
In their usual manner, our source said, the armed bandits ‘shot sporadically into the air to instil fear in members of the communities, resulting in people running helter-skelter.’
‘Some of the bandits entered the district head’s room and forced him to go with them,’ the source disclosed.
Several of the villagers were said to have run into the bush for safety, with the bandits stealing most of their agricultural produce, Daily Sun has learnt.
No life was lost during the invasion as there was no resistance from the villagers.
Both the local vigilante and the handful of policemen in the areas were reportedly helpless to repel the attacks of the bandits.
The Director-General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko Inga, when contacted on the attacks, confirmed receiving the report early Thursday morning.
‘We will get the details and get back to you,’ Inga said on telephone.
The police, meanwhile, has not issued any statement on the two incidents.
Spokesman for the Niger State Police Command ASP Wasiu Abiodun could not be reached to confirm the incidents.