Concerned by the rise in assaults and the government’s inability to provide security, some Niger State citizens claim they are considering contacting terrorist for a peace settlement.
Niger is one of the North West states where inhabitants are tortured by bandits.
In one of the most recent attacks, gunmen shot a two-year-old child travelling with her mother from Minna to Erena in Niger State’s Shiroro Local Government Area.
Bandits operating on the Gwada-Zumba route assaulted a vehicle transporting vendors home from the Minna Saturday market.
According to sources, the infant was in front of the truck when the bandits started fire.
The driver and many other occupants of the car were apparently kidnapped, while the infant was brought to a hospital in Gwada.
Bandits raided Kadna and neighbouring settlements on Saturday evening, less than five kilometres from Gwada, where four people were reportedly killed.
one of those killed in the incident was a policeman.
The assaulted communities, which include Chiri, Kwakwa, Jewi, and Kadna, are located fewer than 50 kilometres from Minna, the state capital.
Residents claimed they were seized with panic as criminals moved inches closer to Gwada and Kuta, two previously regarded safer towns that also hosted IDPs from Shiroro and Munya Local Government Areas.
According to Bala Abdullahi, an eyewitness who narrowly survived the raid, “armed bandits seized over the road leading to Shiroro hydroelectric power facility.” Rustled an undetermined number of cattle, abducted an innocent lady, and shot killed one police officer.”
“Bandits have come closer to Gwada town, sparking alarm among locals and Internally Displaced Persons,” according to another source.
He said that bandits in their hundreds had infiltrated various localities and, for the first time, had reached Tapila Junction in Gwada town, a suburb of Gwada, where over 4,000 internally displaced people were camping.
“The terrorists continue to stretch their tendrils even to communities that were considered reasonably quiet,” said Salis Mohammed Sabo, spokesperson for the Coalition of Shiroro Associations. Terrorists now have us at their mercy.”
On Saturday, bandits allegedly entered Kwata Market, a few kilometres away from Gwada, and looted sellers of their cash, mobile phones, and food supplies.
“Abduction for ransom is the least of the horrible atrocities performed by these hydra-headed monsters,” stated another local, Shooaib Awaisu Wana. We’ve lost track of how many innocent lives have been taken. We are unable to recover the sum that has been forcibly taken and important materials that have been burned to ashes.”
“The Gbagyis, Kamukus, and Kambaris, who are well-known for being diligent career farmers, have been driven from their ancestral lands.” Famine and famine are on the horizon unless something is done to severely reduce the spread of the disease.
“Our safer urban centres are currently overflowing with IDPs scrambling for survival, while terrorists continue to expand, threatening to take over our safer urban areas.”
Shauntv learned from the victims that they had determined to engage in negotiations in order to achieve peace deal and return.
“At the pace these terrorists are going, they could soon start collecting taxes to ensure our security,” says Shooaib Awaisu Wana, a local. Yes, this is unlawful and disgusting; negotiations have been carried out in certain villages that are weary of running and waiting for the authorities.”
Another resident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that “if this misery continues, one of the choices we are considering is calling the bandits and negotiating with them to allow us have peace, even if it means joining them since we are exhausted.” If that is what it takes to bring us peace, we are prepared.”
The Niger State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, acknowledged the attacks but did not specify how many people were killed.