Suspected armed bandits have attacked Fugge community in the Rijau Local Government Area of Niger State, kidnapping the village head, Mallam Abdullahi Zaure and 49 others.
A community member who craved anonymity said most of those abducted during the last Friday attack were women, and children, while few of them were males.
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Besides those abducted, many cattle were also rustled.
It was gathered that the terrorists invaded the village on several motorcycles and started shooting into the air to scare the villagers in broad daylight.
Efforts to contact the Niger State Police Public Relations Officer, Wasiu Abiodun proved abortive as his phone line didn’t go through.
In a text forwarded to him, Abiodun promised to make enquiries and provide details. The police spokesman however failed to do so as of the time of filing this report.
Gunmen have been wreaking havoc on Niger and other states in the North-West and North-Central regions despite the efforts of security agencies and the Federal Government to tackle the menace.
Abductions for ransom and intercommunal attacks have been on the rise again in the last few weeks after a brief calm period during February and March elections for the presidency and governorship posts.
Just last week, nine people, including a local chief, in Idon Gida community in nearby Kajuru district of Kaduna State, according to local sources.
Bandits burst into the Christian village around 8pm, taking away seven women and two men, residents said.
Mass kidnappings and bandit gangs in the northwest are just one of several security challenges facing president-elect Bola Tinubu when he takes the helm of Africa’s most populous nation later this month.
Nigeria’s military is also battling a grinding jihadist conflict in the northeast that has killed 40,000 since 2009 as well as simmering separatist tensions in the southeast of the country, where gunmen often target police.