By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
No fewer than ten thousands persons in parts of Niger State have so far been displaced from their homes and disconnected from their homesteads and families as armed bandits continue to sack communities in about eight local government councils of the state.
Hundreds of human lives have been wasted and property including livestock belonging to victims of the attacks were carted away by the rampaging armed bandits.
Tens of communities in Rafi, Shiroro, Munya, Mashegu, Magama, Paikoro, Wushishi, Borgu and Kontagora have come under siege by bandits who severally sacked communities and loot homes and barns of foodstuffs.
Niger state deputy governor, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso disclosed in Bida at the weekend that bandits have forced over 10,000 persons out of their homesteads and ancestral homes in parts of the state.
Thousands of displaced persons are being camped at Internally Displaced Persons Camps, (IDP) in Kuta, Gwada, Kagara, Wushishi, Sarkin Pawa and elsewhere.
Ketso spoke at the special prayers called by the state government held at the Bida Central Mosque. The prayers were held simultaneously in all the twenty five council areas of the state.
The state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello had at a recent meeting with the leadership of religious leaders in the state, enlisted the support and prayers from Muslim clerics and Christian clergies to ask for God’s divine intervention to the lingering banditry which has led to loss of lives and properties, displacement and disconnect.
The prayer session was organized by the state government in conjunction with the Bida emirate council.
The deputy governor said the increasing cases of banditry in parts of the state has compelled the state government to seek for spiritual solutions via the intervention of religious leaders.
In a related issue, the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) also held it’s interdenominational prayers on Sunday at the Secretariat of the association where clergymen led in a four throng prayer sessions for the state government, against the armed bandits, for victims of the banditry, and for the peace of the state.
Chairman of the association in the state, Rev. Mathias Echioda commended the state government for acknowledging the need to seek for God’s intervention to the senseless activities of the armed bandits and kidnappers in parts of the state.
The prayers sessions led by various leaders, invoked the hands of God to stop the bandits and force them to change from their wicked ways.
Prayers were also offered for the victims of both banditry and kidnapping in the state and elsewhere even as there were calls for the return of peace and stability in the state and country as a whole.