By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Unmasked and unhooded gunmen operating mostly in day light in tens of communities in Rafi, Munya, Shiroro, Mariga and other parts of Niger State have gone haywire and brazenly saucy as they operate and challenged security personnel to dare them for a size.
In the last 78 hours, bandits brandishing dangerous weapons of death have been rampaging in various communities, leaving on their trail, death, blood, wounds, tears and fear on their vanquished, helpless victims, big and small, men and women.
Most victims who escaped or those who got released from the captivity of the armed bandits have blood chilling tales of woes as they recall their ordeals in the hands of bandits.
Even men with hearts of steel have been forced to melt, swallow their bile and chicken out in the hands of the heartless, merciless bandits.
Of late, the bandits have resorted to recording their escapades on handsets and send the recorded video clips to the public where they are often seen challenging government and security agencies to come to their hideouts and face them in gun battles for show of supremacy.
Usually armed with deadly weapons including Rocket Propel Guns, (RPGs) Machine Guns, Bazooka, Pump Action guns, assorted assault rifles including AK- 47, AK-37 and other long guns, the bandits in most video clips are seen in makeshift camps in bushes, smoking substances believed to be cannabis and in some scenes, they were seen clutching bottles of hard liquor and other alcoholic drinks.
Tens and dozens of communities in Munya, dozens and hundreds of villages in Shiroro, Rafi and in Mariga, parts of Kontagora and other places have been turned into regular epicenters and theatres of orgies and bloodletting by trigger happy gun wielding men including young boys in their teens who invade and mindlessly shoot at their targets at will.
Niger is indeed under a siege and communities in rural areas are the worst hit places to live in. Villagers are now migrating to towns and cities as rural dwelling has come under bandits’ target.
This week alone, beginning from Sunday, bandits of Fulani extractions have hit at their targets in various communities in Munya, Shiroro, Rafi and the travellers in a commuter bus along the Kundu Garin Gabas road.
On Monday, they struck at the local palace of the Village Head of Kusherki, and killed the head of the throne, Mas’ud Abubakar, they took his wife and a child away into captivity.
At Kachuae Village of Munya, some bandits laid ambush and wasted nine members of the village vigilante corp and took twenty seven other persons including women into their bush haven.
On Wednesday, some armed bandits swooped on Kushaka community of Shiroro and wasted some villages and took away some victims.
Earlier in the wee hours of Wednesday, some dire devil bandits struck at the Government Science Seconds School, Kagara where they shot dead a student, Benjamin S. Doma and kidnapped three teachers and some family members of the college community.
The woman victim earlier abducted by the armed bandits at the Kundu Garin Gabas kidnap incident who was later abandoned by her abductors when she passed out, said the bandits had boasted that no one could confronted them with the arrays of weapons at their disposal.
In another trending video, some bandits in a bush were seen clutching their array of guns with cache of magazines of ammunitions for assault rifles.
One of them approached the camp with a Rocket luncher while the rest members of the gang stood in front of their pauperised victims at their mercies.
The state government has no doubt been overwhelmed by the recurring deadly activities of the armed bandits whose population and dastardly acts are on the increase in the state even as the government remains helpless and clueless.
For, now, life and living in the state is fast becoming a thing of great worry as news of attacks are no longer new nor good news to the ears of citizens.