Governor Sani-Bello: Niger at war with bandits

Abubakar Sani Bello

Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has again asked the Federal Government to help the state tackle the challenge of incessant banditry attacks on various communities in the state.

“The situation has reached crisis level. In fact, it’s a war situation that we have to confront without further delay,” the governor was quoted to have said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel-Berje, on Sunday.

The statement was issued in reaction to attacks by bandits in three local government areas of Rafi, Wushishi and Lavun where innocent people where abducted and killed.

The bandits shot one person dead and left one seriously injured during the attack in Tegina community in Rafi local government area on Sunday.

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They also kidnapped an unconfirmed number of Islamiyya students and teachers from Salihu Tanko Islamic School alongside some passenger in a vehicle travelling to Minna.

He disclosed that the state government was still searching and conducting a 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 tried to escape across River Kaduna.

More than 10 people are reported to be receiving treatment at the Wushishi General Hospital.

Search is still ongoing for missing persons from Babako, Tashan Girgi, Kwakwagi, Fakara, Ndiga, Buzu, Akare, Kala Kala, Agwa, Anguwan Gizo, Tsamiya and other neighbouring villages attacked by the bandits.

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The Governor described the serial attacks as unfortunate and assured that the Joint Military Taskforce have been mobilised and are already tracking 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 residents.

Meanwhile, 11 children who were too small and could not walk among the kidnapped Islamiyya Students, were released by the gunmen.

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