Laleye Dipo in Minna
The death toll in last Thursdays attack on Kpaidna village in the Bosso local government area of Niger state has risen to 15.
This is as the senator representing the Niger East Senatorial district in the state; David Umaru condemned the invasion of the community.
It was learnt from very reliable source close to the police and the army that among those that were killed were people in uniform.
One of the deceased according to the source was a senior army officer who was said to have led the operation.
A document containing the names of those on the operation was said to have been found on him when his remains were taken to the Minna general hospital mortuary.
A combined team of soldiers and air force personnel were said to have been dispatched to Kpaidna to recover arms and ammunition which intelligence claimed had been stockpiled in the village.
The villagers reportedly mistook the soldiers for Fulani herdsmen that attacked the community a month ago and in self-defense, attacked the soldiers.
THISDAY gathered that Niger State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Ketso who was to go to the community to commiserate with the people could not enter the village because of the tense atmosphere.
Ahmed Ketso returned to Minna from Barakata village following advice from his security team.
Senator David Umaru in a statement posted to media houses on Friday condemned the attack and said four other villages were invaded by the soldiers.
David Umaru named the other villages attacked as Bambe, Legbe-dagma Kopa and Lunku
In the statement captioned ‘Military invasion of Kpaidna, Bambe, Legbe-dagma, Kopa, Lunku and surrounding villages’ Senator David Umaru asked the Niger State government ‘to immediately set up an inquiry into the massacre of these innocent people’.
The federal lawmaker also alleged that not less than 60 villagers “have been kidnapped” and were being kept in detention at the army barracks in Minna
“The military has not given any cogent reason(s) for this crude invasion and brutality of my people, however I am of the belief that the claim that the villagers had piled up arms in their homes upon which the armed soldiers hinged a seal off and search operation in the village, is not tenable and totally unacceptable in a democratic government.
“It is unfortunate that instead of the military to provide adequate protection to the helpless villagers, it has taken upon itself the onus of inflicting more pains on them in an unnecessary operation”, he lamented.
David after commiserating with the affected villagers asked the Chief of Army staff and the Brigade commander to immediately release those detained as their fundamental human rights were being illegally infringed upon.