Banditry: Niger villages deserted as terrorists attack

Posted by News Express | 31 March 2022 | 565 times

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•Entrance of Niger state


No fewer than 1,000 villagers have deserted their communities in Gurara Local Government Area of Niger State following persistent attacks by terrorists over the last two days.

Scores of people were also kidnapped in Kwampany-bobi in Mariga Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday.

This is even as there is growing apprehension about the safety of the Catholic priest, Rev. Leo Ozigi, who was abducted by gunmen along Sarkinpawa- Minna road last Sunday afternoon.

It was learnt that the terrorists unleashed terror on the villagers in Kabo, Kutayi, Zebena, Baradna, Gufana and Sabon-gari between Tuesday and Wednesday.

It was learnt that the gunmen in their characteristic manner rode on many motorcycles and all had sophisticated weapons.

“They ransacked the villages injuring many of the villagers and making away with their valuable items especially food and cash. They also reportedly burnt police operational vehicles,” an eyewitness said.

He said the gunmen also set some houses on fire making many of the villagers to escape to safer communities.

It was gathered that armed security men have been dispatched to the communities to restore law and order.

Also, it was learnt that some terrorists stormed Kwampany-bobi town in Mariga Local Government Area of the state in the early hours of Wednesday wreaking havoc.

Several villagers, mostly women and children, were abducted.

An eyewitness said the invasion started at about 11pm of Tuesday and continued till the early hours of Wednesday, adding that “As I speak to you, I can confirm that seven women and 2 men have been kidnapped, we don’t know their whereabouts. It was the fourth attack on kwampany bobi by bandits in recent times.

In the meantime, there is apprehension over the safety of the Catholic priest, Rev. Ozigi, who was abducted by gunmen along the Sarkinpawa-Minna road Sunday afternoon.

The apprehension has arisen as a result of the abductors not reaching out to the Catholic Church, the relations of the priest or the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Niger State chapter.

One of the colleagues of the abducted clergyman, Rev. Basil Sarki, said: “Nobody has made contact with us but we are trusting God that he is alive.”

Sarki said he had personally retrieved the vehicle of the abducted clergyman from the spot where he was kidnapped.

“I tried getting a mechanic to go with me but nobody wanted so, I went with a rope, tied the car to my own and drove it to safety. Little offering collected at the mass conducted by the abducted clergyman and some of his books were intact in the car.

“They shot at the tyres of the car, I pray the bullet did not hit him,” he said. (THISDAY)


Source: News Express

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