Armed Bandits Sack Niger Villages

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Governor Sani Bello of Niger State
By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Several communities in Mariga in Niger State have began to exit their villages following invasions and raids by heavily armed kidnappers.
No fewer than six communities have come under attacks in the last few days where livestock, food items, cash, motorcycles and other valuables have been carted away by the armed bandits.
A growing apprehension and morbid fear have since taken over the rural communities as the daring gunmen run amock day and nights without inhibition.
Reports from Mariga confirmed that there have been mass exodus of villagers who move in droves in fear following increased threats by the armed kidnappers.
The armed kidnappers have vowed to return to the affected villages no matter who stands on their way just as they threatened to deal with local vigilante groups in the villages.
At the beginning of this week, some armed kidnappers invaded some communities and shot dead two local farmer and an owner of livestock.
Following the attacks, the communities are now being diserted as many homes are being fled in fear of raid by the bandits.
In the recent attack, two men were shot dead in broad day while several flock including cows, goats and rams were rustled. The bandits come in groups as they shoot sporadically into the air and on anything at sight.
Several motorcycles belonging to some of villagers were alsi carried away by the bandits during the recent raid.
A community leader in Mariga who has relocated to neighbouring Gulbin Boka, who spoke to our correspondent in confidence and under cover, said the raids have increased in recent weeks even though the affected communities have sent out an SOS to both the authority in the council and to the Police but without any reprieve yet.
But the Niger state Police Command said the Police was investigating the matter.
Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO) DSP Abubakar Dan Innah said the command is working on the intelligence report and would not take any chance on reported invasion.

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