By Charles Nwabardi
Gunmen have killed no fewer than nine persons in attacks on Fulani settlements in Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State.
It was gathered that the attacks suspected to have been carried out by vigilantes from Maza-Kuka occurred between Sunday and Monday.
The attacks may be a reprisal of the October 25 invasion of a mosque in Maza-Kuka, where 18 worshippers were murdered while 13 others were kidnapped.
The village head of Adogon-Mallam, a Fulani community, and his younger brother were killed after the attack at Maza-Kuka.
One of the victims, Shehu Mohammadu of Gawun village, said, “Vigilantes came to our village and burnt our rooms and we ran away. My younger brother’s wife, Hawawu, and her 10-month-old-baby were killed.
“They also killed my younger brother’s three-year-old son and his 10-year-old daughter. My younger brother, Aliyu, was also killed. They also killed my son, Mohammadu. He was 30 years. I lost seven members of my family. I had to run; they would have killed me too.”
Mohammed said 51 cattle, 63 rams, 53 goats and a motorcycle were taken away while his younger brothers, Abdullahi and Ali, also lost 38 goats during the attacks.
He said, “We have left the village. I live in a faraway place now. I won’t go back home because they will kill me. Some of our people are staying with relatives in Kontagora. We are afraid of going back to our settlements because they will kill us. We cannot even go to search for our animals.”
Mohammed said his younger brother was killed in a separate attack on Sunday, decrying lack of security presence in the area.
Another eye witness, who said he is also taking refuge outside Niger State, Alhaji Muhammadu Marike, said “Apart from Monday attack that led to the death of the village head and his younger brother in Adogon Mallam, they came back again and picked us. Luckily for me, one of the vigilantes who is very close to me asked them to let me go. That was how I escaped.”
“Eight persons were taken away and their whereabouts have not been known. Some of our people ran to as far as Jebba, Kano and Zaria due to renewed attacks,” he said.
Abubakar Saidu, the eldest son to the deceased village head of Adogon, said in another Fulani settlement, a new born baby and his mother were killed and their huts were set ablaze.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the state, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, said the command had deployed tactical team for manhunt of those behind the attack.
Abiodun asked members of the public to volunteer intelligence to assist the police and other security agencies in order to apprehend the hoodlums as investigation is ongoing

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