Governor of Niger State and Chairman of the North Central Governors Forum (NCGF) Abubakar Sani Bello, has expressed shock and sadness over recent reports of armed bandits abducting innocent people in several communities across the state’s three LGAs of Rafi, Wushishi, and Bida.
According to reports, armed bandits invaded Tegina community in Rafi Local Government Area, shot one person dead and seriously injured another, and kidnapped an unspecified number of Islamiyya students and teachers from Salihu Tanko Islamic School, as well as some passengers on a Sharon bus traveling to Minna.
In a statement, Governor Sani Bello expressed outrage at the escalating level of banditry in the state, while reiterating his emergency call for prompt intervention from the Federal Government.
“The situation has reached crisis level, infact it’s a war situation that we have to confront without further delay”, the Governor fumed while also stating that the state government is still searching and conducting House-to-House headcount to ascertain the exact number of children abducted.
Reports also have it that the Gunmen, on about 70 Motorcycles, attacked 17 communities in Wushishi Local Government Area where they shot several people while some women and children drowned as they try to escape across River Kaduna.
More than ten people are said to be receiving treatment at the Wushishi General Hospital, even though the search for many missing people from Babako, Tashan Girgi, Kwakwagi, Fakara, Ndiga, Buzu, Akare, Kala Kala, Agwa, Anguwan Gizo, Tsamiya, and other nearby villages attacked by the Bandits is still ongoing.
The Governor described as unfortunate and unbecoming of the serial attacks and assured that the Joint Military Taskforce have been mobilized and are already tracing the tracks of the criminals for possible isolation and ambush.
He further appealed for calm and restated the strong resolve of the state government to continue to protect the lives and property of the citizens as a matter of utmost importance and priority.
Meanwhile, eleven children who were too small and couldn’t walk, among the kidnapped Islamiyya Students, were released by the Gunmen as reports also indicates that the IDPs of Central and Model Primary Schools as well as Government Secondary school in Wushishi are returning back to their communities following return of normalcy.