Bandits on rampage, kidnap 27 at wedding, 56 others

Barely forty-eight hours after President Muhammadu Buhari appointed new service chiefs, bandits have gone on rampage in Niger, Kaduna and Taraba states, killing five persons and kidnapping 83, including 27 wedding guests.

While one of the casualties was killed in Lapai and Shiroro LGAs of Niger State, and 56  kidnapped, four were killed in Kalgo community in Kaduna.  The 27 wedding guests were abducted along Wukari-Takum road in Taraba State.

In Niger State, Newsmen gathered that the Gunmen attacked Avu community in Gupa- Abugi ward of Lapai Local government in the early hours of yesterday and opened fire, killing one person and abducting six persons.

A member of the community, Idris Musa Avu, told the correspondent that the gunmen invaded Gupa-Abugi village around 1:00 am yesterday, shooting to scare the villagers. According to him, the gunmen arrived the village around 1:00 am in large number and upon seeing them, people scampered for safety as they were shooting sporadically and one person was killed and six others were kidnapped.”

He added that the vigilantes tried their best but could not get police back as the attack progressed.

Another set of armed bandits, it was learned, stormed Bassa community in Shiroro Local Government Area in large numbers on motorcycles and kidnapped 50 people.

It was reliably gathered that the villagers were getting set for the day’s activities when the bandits struck.

Consequently, many villagers fled into the bush to avoid being kidnapped by the bandits.

Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, Sani Abubakar Kokki, who confirmed the attack, described the bandits as terrorists, adding that   it was time for government to redouble its efforts and flush out the bandits who now attack the area on a daily basis.

“The invasion of these bandits in the state, especially Shiroro, is becoming a daily affair and government should now restrategise and get the new service chiefs to stem the trend.

“Shiroro Local Government Area is now in dire need of help as the people have continued to live at the mercy of the bandits,’’ he said.  When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Abiodun Wasiu, promised to get back to our  Correspondent for more details but did not do so at press time last night.

In Kaduna, the bandits attacked Nasarawa Kalgo community on the outskirts of Jaji, Rigachikun district in Igabi Local Government Area, killing four persons Samuel Aruwan, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna State, said yesterday that the bandits stormed the village in dozens, and killed one resident, Harrisu Ibrahim.

Similarly, armed bandits attacked the Kujama area of Chikun Local Government Area but were repelled by local vigilantes.

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He said as the bandits retreated to their hideouts, they attacked Janwuriya village in Kajuru Local Government Area, and killed two brothers, Nuhu Ishaya and Yakubu Ishaya. In a separate incident, Aruwan said the bandits invaded Maraban Kajuru, also in Kajuru Local Government Area and killed one resident, Samiru Na Ya’u.

According to him, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has expressed his distress at these reports, and prayed for the repose of the souls of the slain, while sending his condolences to their families. He also quoted the governor as tasking security agencies to conduct diligent investigations into the incidents and sustain patrols in the locations.

Patrols are set to be sustained in these locations.

In Taraba State, at least 27 wedding guests were kidnapped along Wukari-Takum road.

Chairman of Takum Local Government Area, Shiban Tikari, who disclosed this yesterday, said the victims were returning to Takum when they were abducted.

He said no contact had been made with the families of those abducted but disclosed that security operatives as well as the youths of the area have been combing bushes along the axis in search of the 27 victims.

Contacted, spokesman of the state police command, DSP David Misal, confirmed the incident.

Misal said:   “We confirmed that they are missing, investigation has commenced.”

In a similar development, Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s factional leader, has called on the newly appointed service chiefs to repent and convert to Muslim, noting that they cannot perform better than their predecessors.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday appointed, Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A. Z. Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff, as his new service chiefs following criticisms from Nigerians that the former ones had exhausted their plans.

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