- Tragedy struck in Niger state on Monday, March 22, as bandits killed more than 20 vigilantes in a deadly clash
- Residents of Kotonkoro where the incident happened were only able to recover four bodies after the attack
- However, a member of the state House of Assembly from the community said soldiers recovered 16 more bodies on Wednesday, March 24
Armed bandits have reportedly staged a deadly attack in Kotonkoro in Mariga local government area of Niger state, killing more than 20 vigilantes.
Daily Trust cited BBC Hausa as reporting that the attack occurred on Monday, March 22, after the vigilantes engaged a group of bandits in the area.
Narrating the incident, Ibrahim Ilyasu, a member of the State House of Assembly from Mariga, said:
“On Monday, there was a clash between vigilantes and bandits and they pursued them to a nearby bush to fight them. Unfortunately, the vigilantes were killed and the bandits refused to allow the community to retrieve the bodies.
“I can’t say the actual number of people killed because they refused to grant access to pick the bodies, but today (Wednesday, March 24), soldiers went to the forest to collect bodies of 16 persons. But that’s not all of them because there are still more people they couldn’t identify as their bodies were dismembered.”
Legit.ng gathers that the lawmaker said four bodies had been recovered earlier.
In another related development, no fewer than 30 villagers were on Monday, March 8 kidnapped in Kutunku village in Wushishi local government area of Niger state.
A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the heavily armed bandits stormed the village on foot and rounded up the villagers.
The terrorists were said to have hidden their motorcycles in an orchard close to the village and from there trekked to the community, a development that did not arouse the suspicion of the villagers until it was late.
Meanwhile, popular Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, has said the armed bandits terrorising the north may not drop their arms if they are not sure of their safety.
The cleric who has recently met with the bandits in a bid to persuade them to drop their criminal acts said this during a virtual event hosted by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies.
The cleric insisted that the Nigerian government should dialogue with the bandits.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_ Source: Legit Nigeria