Eight persons are feared killed by bandits in an attack on Kaure community, of Kwaki Ward in Shiroro Local Government Area, Niger State.
The attack which occurred in the early hours of Saturday, reportedly left several persons critically injured and many displaced from their homes.
The Councillor representing the ward, Jafaru Kwaki confirmed this to Channels Television, saying the information only got to him on Sunday as the affected community is a remote one.
“I received the sad report on Sunday that armed men dressed in black, stormed Kaure community in Kwaki, that’s under my ward, as early as 7:00 am. They were on motorbikes, as it is their style, and began to shoot sporadically,” he said.
“Eight persons have lost their lives in the attack. As for the injured persons, we cannot ascertain the number of people injured in the attack yet, because many escaped into the bushes with bullet wounds, but we were able to move 15 who sustained various degrees of injuries to health centres”.
According to him, the attackers also rustled cows, dispossessed locals of their cash and foodstuff at gunpoint.
“They burnt two vehicles, five machines and some houses in the attack. At the moment, many of our people are also missing. We have, however, dispatched search parties made up of vigilantes to comb the bush for them, while we try to move displaced persons to safe locations,” Kwaki further explained.
This is the third time in December alone that armed men have attacked communities in Shiroro local government area.
Earlier in the month, at least 13 persons were killed in attacks by bandits in eight communities across Rafi and Shiroro local government areas.
Meanwhile, the district head of Madaka, Alhaji Zakari Yau, his wife, the village head of Kukoki and four others, including the Secretary of the district council and a retired soldier were also kidnapped.
Similarly, some expatriates working around the area were reportedly abducted by bandits.
The Police in the state has, however, remained silent on the attacks.
While the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abubakar Dan-Innah, has declined to speak to journalists on the basis that he is on leave, Channels Television made efforts to speak to the Police Commissioner, Adamu Usman, but he is yet to take his call or respond to messages sent to him.
The Acting Public Relations Officer, ASP Uthman Umar, responding to the several missed calls from Channels Television’s correspondent, said the command is not aware of such attacks, but that he believes that if there is any such incident; the command would get a report by Monday.
He promised to keep our reporter abreast of any development on the matter.
But the locals have accused security operatives of compromise, alleging that the security agencies in the state have knowledge of the attacks.
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa has condemned the attack on Kaure.
He has called on the Federal Government, to as a matter of urgency, dispatch security personnel to tackle “the renewed spate of attacks” in Rafi and Shiroro local government areas.
He has also tasked security agencies in the state to up their ante in the fight against bandits.
The Senator particularly urged the Commissioner of Police and other security chiefs to come up with strategies that would nip the challenges in the bud once and for all.
In a statement he personally signed, he said his people cannot be left to die in the hands of bandits, adding that he would continue to make a case for them at the National Assembly until something is done to arrest the ugly situation.
As at the time of filing this report, the State Emergency Management Agency said it had activated an emergency response mechanism to deal with the situation in Kaure.
Director-General of the agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Inga, said his office is, however, yet to receive a report on the number of casualties.