John Adams, Minna
The onslaught by armed bandits on some communities in Niger State has defied every possible security arrangement with daily attacks and killings, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (APC, Niger East) has said, appealing to President Mohammadu Buhari to establish a military base in the affected communities.
Senator Musa said the call has become necessary because all the “makeshift security arrangements” in the area seems to have failed, resulting in the frequent attacks on these communities by the bandits.
The senator, who was reacting to the recent attacks on communities across the three local government areas of Shiroro, Munya and Rafi, all in his constituency, where over 15 people have been killed, eight abducted and over 2,000 forced out of their homes, said that “my people are dying” and “the time to act is now.”
The senator’s appeal is coming against the backdrop of the Defence Headquarters’ (DHQ) announcement that the Air Component of Operation “Gama Aiki”, set up to tackle armed banditry, has killed scores of bandits terrorising residents of Maguga in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
Rafi is one of the three local government under siege from the bandits, with latest attacks on Sunday claiming the lives of seven local vigilantes and about 100 cattle rustled in the area.
According to the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, the operation, which was conducted in support of Operation Thunder Strike, was executed on April 19th, adding that “the Air Component of Operation Gama Aiki has neutralised several armed bandits at Maguga in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
But Senator pointed out that “the makeshift security arrangements have failed, the bandits have taken over some communities in these three local government areas. That is why I am appealing to the President to fulfil his promise of establishing a military base in the area.
“The President promised to put a military base in that location where these bandits are having a field day, to curb this incessant attacks and the killings, but nothing has been done. The situation is getting out of hand.
“It seems that Mr President has abandoned my people to their fate because ever since the recent attacks with my people being killed, nobody has commiserated with us; but when 47 villagers were killed in Katsina three days back, Mr President immediately condemned it and equally commiserated with the people,” the senator complained.
The senator’s outcry for help is coming on the heels of recent attacks on these communities across the three local government areas, leaving 15 people dead, including seven vigilantes members, 500 cattle rustled and over 2,000 people, mostly women and children, displaced.
According to Senator Sani, “it is sad that only about 50 bandits could be holding an entire Senatorial Zone to ransom and rendering over 2,000 homeless.
He stressed that “it is better to crush these people than having over 2,000 IDPs. it is sad to see people living in a dehumanised conditions.”
“I am really not happy about the security situation in my constituency right now. Something needs to be done and urgently. Mr President can not abandon us like that, my people are suffering,” Senator Musa lamented.