Bandits kill scores in Niger villages

Bandits on Thursday continued the attacks, which they started on Sunday, in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

BrandInfo learnt that the bandits had sacked eight villages and displaced over 1,000 people.

It was learnt that scores of people were killed in the sustained attacks, while several people, who were injured, were rushed to various hospitals.

It was also gathered that displaced villagers had sought refuge in seven internally displaced persons’ camps.

Our correspondent also learnt that over 800 heads of cattle had been rustled.

Confirming the attacks and the killings, the Police Public Relations Officer,  Muhammad Abubaka,  told one of our correspondents on the telephone, “For now, our record shows 12 deaths so far.”

Abubakar added that the state police command had drafted its men in collaboration with other security agencies to the troubled areas to ensure the security of lives and property.

The Deputy Governor of Niger State, Ahmed Ketso, had on Wednesday   read the riot act to the hoodlums.

He stated this in Kuta, headquarters of the Shiroro Local Government Area of the state after a condolence visit and on-the-spot assessment of communities attacked by the hoodlums.

The deputy governor had said, “This administration frowns on any extra-judicial killing. Mr Governor has directed me to express his concern and displeasure at the killings and destruction unleashed on innocent people on Sunday. No stone will be left unturned to apprehend and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

The deputy governor assured victims that the government would take care of their medical bills, while adequate security had been provided in the affected areas.

Also, gunmen in the early hours of Thursday kidnapped the wife of the Taraba State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Peter Gambo, Abigail.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, David Misal, who confirmed the incident, said the wife of the state NLC chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of Our Nation Bread Company, Emeka Okoronkwo,  were abducted from their houses in the Magami area of Jalingo around 1am on Thursday.

“It is confirmed that two people were kidnapped and one injured by yet-to-be identified gunmen in the early hours of Thursday in Jalingo,” he said.

The NLC chairman said, “They (the gunmen) whisked my wife after shooting continuously in the compound.

“I have made a written statement to the police on the incident. The abductors have yet to contact me or any family member for ransom.”

Gambo also confirmed that the owner of Our Nations Bread Bakery, who is his neighbour, was also kidnapped.

It was gathered that the kidnappers shot the gateman of  Okoronkwo in the leg during the operation, which lasted for over 40 minutes.
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