By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Two expatriate construction workers were kidnapped on Monday afternoon by a band of armed bandits at Galadiman Kogo village of Shiroro Council Area of Niger State.
The two were leading other construction men who were working on the Jimi to Galadiman Kogo rural feeder road in the council area.
Sources at the scene of the attack informed our correspondent that the armed bandits who numbered about fifty, arrived the area on no fewer than thirty motorcycles and each of them were armed with assorted assault rifles.
As they arrived at the construction site, they shot sporadically into the air, causing fear and panic to the construction workers, most of whom fled into the bushes.
The bandits had divided themselves into three groups as one group of the bandits went for the two expatriates and took them captive on their two motorcycles with an armed member of the gang riding behind on the two motorcycles as they sped away from the area with the two.
Armed bandits have gone berserk in communities of the two council areas of Rafi and Shiroro council areas in the last one month.
Armed men have sacked scores of villages in communities in the areas, forcing several tens of rural dwellers out of their homes to settle in camps in Kagara and Kuta.
Last week, nine persons were shot dead at Kokoki village, while another four were slain by the bandits at Madaka.
No fewer than six District Heads from villages in Shiroro council area have since fled their domains following series of raids and attacks by the bandits.
Last week, the District Head of Gurmana in Shiroro council area, Aliyu Umar was forced to abandon his palace following threats and attacks on his life.
He was the last person to flee the village after all his surviving subjects had relocated to Kuta, the council’s headquarters and other safer neighbouring villages in Shiroro as activities of armed bandits continued which are always occasioned by lost of human lives and theft of their livestock by the bandits.
The state government last week said it had secured the agreement from the military to flush out the bandits who are believed to be in the forest areas of Kamuku, Birnin Gwari and Alawa areas from where they often launch attacks and returned to.
The latest attack on the construction workers at Galadiman Kogo in Shiroro council area came on the heels of the said deployment of military men as claimed by the state government.
The state government had always blamed the resurgence of armed banditry in parts of the state to the influx into territories of the state by bandits running away from the ongoing military onslaughts in neighbouring Zamfara and Kaduna states.
The state shares common land border with the two states where armed bandits have been kidnapping villagers and other persons almost unchecked.
At the time of filling this report, no word had been heard about the kidnapped expatriate construction workers neither had the armed bandits put forward any demand for ransom for the release of their victims.