- Bandits have once again attacked a community in Niger state, kidnapping no fewer than 20 people
- Alhaji Jafaru Umar Sarki, district head of Beni, say it is the second of such in three days
- The state government has reacted to the incident, describing it as saddening and unfortunate
Mayhem reigned temporarily on Wednesday, January 8, as suspected bandits attacked a town in Munya local government area of Niger state kidnapping the chief imam of Beni central mosque, Mallam Umar Mohammed.
Apart from the Islamic clergyman, at least 20 other residents were kidnapped and taken away by the bandits, according to a Daily Trust report.
It was learnt that four residents also lost their lives following the attack carried out by over 50 bandits as claimed by witnesses of the incident.
Other residents who sustained injury are currently receiving treatment at the Kafin Koro general hospital.
The report said the bandits had moved from one community to another in the state dispossessing the people of their property including cattle.
They then attacked Beni in Munya local government and Kudami in Paikoro local government areas where they left people scampering or dead.
The report added that the bandits were said to have experienced stiff resistance from the residents in Kudami, but operated without hindrance in Beni.
Alhaji Jafaru Umar Sarki, district head of Beni, confirmed the attacks saying it was the second of such in three days.
“They came three days ago and stole over 200 cows from Fulani Men. This morning, they came again in their numbers. As I speak to you now, they are busy looting shops and moving from house to house and collecting people’s property.
“So far, four people have been killed. They shot another boy in the head and we don’t know if he will survive. They are so many in number, I can’t count them and they are all with gun," he said.
He said security agents were told of the first attack and that the community thought something would be done about it.
“What is the essence of security if people’s lives and property are not safe. This community is under siege at the moment and we are helpless," the traditional ruler, whose two daughters had earlier been reportedly kidnapped, lamented.
In its reaction, the state government described the attack as saddening and unfortunate.
Governor Sani Bello, in a statement by his spokesperson, Mary Noel Berje, suggested a fresh approach by the security agencies in the way they handle such attacks.
Legit.ng reports that the bandits struck on the same day the governor won an electoral victory at the Supreme Court.
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