John Adams in Minna
Hell was let loose on Tuesday evening in Kukoki village in Rafi local government area of Niger state following the invasion of armed bandits who held the people hostage for several hours.
At the end of the three hours operation, the District head of Madaka Alhaji Zakari Yau, his wife as well as the village head of Kikoki were kidnapped by the bandits.
Six other members of the village were also whisked away by bandits in the evening raids on Tuesday evening.
The Secretary of the district council and a retired soldier among were among the victims.
According to a report from the area the bandits numbering over 20 stormed the district at about 10pm Tuesday and started shooting sporadically into the air before they also embarked on breaking into the houses of the villagers.
They were said to have ransacked all the houses and shops in the community and looted goods and food stuff.
A number of cattle and sheep were also rustled by the bandits who invaded the village in about 15 motorcycles.
This incident is coming barely 48 hours after 11 people were killed in another community, Koki in Shiroro local government in an attack which occurred on Sunday morning when the were preparing to go to church.
Over 20 people were also said to have sustained serious injury from that attack, the third this year.
A source close to Kukoki village told our correspondent that before the arrival of security operatives after several hours of distress call, the bandits had disappeared into the bush.
In an apparent confirmation of the incidents the state government said it has mobilised security operatives to carryout air and land surveillance with the sole aim of tracking and arresting the bandits that have again been terrorising the communities.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs. Mary Noel Berje said security operatives have been directed “to fish and flush out the bandits terrorizing the communities”.
Bello in the statement assured that “Niger state government is working along side security apparatus in the state to stem the tide of pandemonium at the flash points, so as to bring succour and peace to the affected and surrounding communities
“The State Government is aware that the bandits are crossing over from neighboring states such as Zamfara and Kaduna axis to Allawa and Erena axis and from Brini-Gwari adjacent Kamuku National Park, we will do everything to stop their migration into the state”.