Armed bandits invaded Magami community in the Shiroro local government area of Niger state on Friday night, killing at least twenty persons in what a source close to the community described as a retaliatory attack by the gunmen.
Several locals are claimed to be missing as a result of the night onslaught, while others fled to neighboring settlements for protection.
On Wednesday night, the Special Security Task Force, which included police, local hunters, and vigilantes, launched an attack on the bandits, killing roughly 40 of them and recovering 16 motorcycles, as well as weaponry and ammo, mostly AK47 rifles.
However, a spokesman for the Concerned Shiroro Youths, Mallam Yusuf Abubakar Kukoki, who confirmed the new killings by bandits to our correspondent on the phone on Saturday morning, claimed the bandits arrived in large numbers, terrorizing members of the village at night.
According to him, “Realising that the combined team of Police Special Force, Hunters and local Vigilantes who had earlier inflated heavy casualties on them had returned to their Base at Galadima Kogo, the bandits mobilized and returned like a pride of wounded lions killing people at sight. They murdered and butchered their victims with dangerous weapons. Unfortunately, the unarmed, peaceful and defenseless locals are now at the receiving end.
“By a reliable records, no fewer than fifteen people have gruesomely been murdered by the marauding criminals. Six people were confirmed dead at Unguwan Magiro under Madaka Ward, Rafi local government area, four people at Farin Hula and five people at Magami and environs all under Manta Ward of Shiroro local government while scores of others are still missing – probably killed too” Kukoki said.
The Kukoki stated further that many villagers have now fled to Kuta headquarters of the local government and other neighboring villages where they are now staying as Internally Displaced People.
“Kuta the headquarters of Shiroro local government which is considered a safer ground is swelling up with fleeing IDPs who have since vacated the troubled areas scampering helter skelter for shelter, peace and security” Kukoki said in the statement.
Kukoki suggested that the “Onslaught against criminals need to be a sustained one in order to avoid a replica of this nature” adding that: “sustained operation can go a long way in halting or avoiding any possible reprisal that could result into unwanted casualties”.
The Concerned Shiroro Youths, he said is therefore calling with “a loud voice on the authorities concerned to immediately mobilize security personnel as well as local Vigilantes and station same at Magami which is now the epicenter of atrocities being perpetrated by dreaded criminals so as to restore security in the area”.
This, according to him, will guarantee peace and enable the locals to continue with their lawful and legitimate activities.
All attempts to reach the Chairman of the Local Government Council, Alhaji Sulaiman Chikuba, via phone were futile because he did not answer his cell phone despite multiple calls.
A Government official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the attacks on Kukoki, Bassa, Magami and Madaka villages saying “they attacked and kill many people but the number is yet to be ascertained”.
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