… As security operatives neutralise over 200 terrorists
Bandits have resorted to attacking village-to-village out of frustration as the only route for them to escape to Zamfara State has been blocked by the troops.
The Niger state Commissioner for Local Government and Internal Security, Mr Emmanuel Umar, made the disclosure while reacting to Tuesday invasion of Matane, the village of the Secretary to the Government (SSG) of Niger State, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, in Mashegu Local Government Area of the state by gunmen.
The gunmen in their numbers set houses and vehicles ablaze and disappeared with several household goods and agricultural produce.
It was not known if the property of the SSG or his relations was affected in the raid by the bandits.
The state Commissioner for Local Government and Internal Security, Mr Emmanuel Umar, confirmed the incident in a telephone interview, saying: “A number of houses, shops and valuables were burnt by the bandits in Matane, Mashegu Local Government of Niger State.”
Umar said the number of casualty, as a result of the invasion of the community, is not known yet.
In a related development, no fewer than 2,000 bandits were reported to have entered Zagzaga in Munya Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday.
The gunmen, according to some villagers, rode on several motorcycles and divided themselves into groups before raiding the village.
They also set houses and shops on fire after evacuating all the goods in them.
The Chairman of Shiroro Local Government, Mr Sulaiman Chikuba, also confirmed that trucks dropped bandits in Damba village, Kurebe District of the local government last Sunday evening sending fears into the villagers.
“Immediately they (bandits) arrived, my people called me to inform me about it. As I speak to you now, the entire villages within the area are now almost deserted. The people are beginning to relocate,” he said.
According to Chikuba, villages like Katarma, Rijiya Uku and Laidna have been deserted as the people have left their homes and have all relocated to neighboring villages.
He said the terrorists asked the villagers to vacate their houses for them to enable them settle down.
Meanwhile, security operatives in Niger State in the last four days, have neutralised over 200 terrorists.
Umar, who made this known during a briefing on the security situation in the state said four bandits groups have been operating in the state.
He said many terrorists had fled with bullet wounds, calling on the communities to continue to provide credible intelligence to enable authorities to win the ongoing war against insecurity.
Umar gave the names of the bandit groups as; Bello Turji, Yellow Janbros, Kachalla Halilu and Ali Kawaje terrorist groups.
He further said that two security operatives died during the encounters with the bandits.
The Commissioner said several motorbikes and cattle, as well as rifles, were recovered during the encounters. He said the state had restrategised and was ready to end terrorism.
Umar acknowledged the support of security operatives, communities and traditional institutions as well as the media for their support in the ongoing war against terrorism in the state.