Bandits Now Walk Freely– Niger Residents - EazyFeeds

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Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Bandits Now Walk Freely– Niger Residents


 Residents of more than 200 communities in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State say they are now under the control of bandits as the criminals walk freely in their localities.


The residents decried the absence of police or military personnel to protect them.


“There is growing tension in the Lakpma and Bassa areas of Shiroro LGA, as bandits are walking freely and ambushing innocent residents, looting their houses and maiming whoever refuses to yield to them.


“The grim fact is that over 200 communities are vulnerable to attacks. We are left at their mercy,” a resident lamented.


“The Bassa community was attacked in broad daylight by these bandits while commercial activities were going on at Bassa market. People were killed; some also sustained gunshot injuries.”


Niger State has continued to be one of the flashpoints of bandits’ attacks.


As insecurity worsens nationwide due to increased banditry, Niger State between January 2020 and February 2021 lost 301 persons to bandits and terrorists’ attacks, according to a report by the SB Morgen Intelligence.


The African focused research firm had said the deaths occurred during 73 various incidents which were documented.


“Niger State, Nigeria’s largest by land area is just one of four states (the others being Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau) in the vast North-Central region hardest hit by attacks by organised armed groups and militias with affiliation to international terror networks, most notably al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.


“Between January 2020 and February 2021, at least 301 people were killed in 73 various violent incidents in the state. Perception of the government’s neutrality in the conflict has not helped as the government’s attempt to disarm parties to the conflict have been seen as partial to the herders, and have thus backfired, frustrating the entire disarmament campaign.


“On February 2, terrorists sacked 10 villages in Gurmana, Kurebe and Kwaki in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger state, killing 25 people and abducting 40. The assailants attacked the said villages because they refused to attend a meeting where negotiations were opened between the terrorists and community leaders on the amount to be paid to allow farmers in the area harvest crops from their farms without attacks.


“Shiroro, which houses one of Nigeria’s most important electric dams has seen the worst attacks, as well as Bosso, Mariga, Mashegu and Rafi LGAs. Kagara, where the abduction took place, is very close to the volatile Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State in the North-West, a region that has seen no fewer than 8,000 deaths from violent incidents between 2011 and 2020, displacing nearly 300,000,” the report partly read.


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