3,630 People Displaced as Bandits Sack Communities in Niger


Laleye Dipo in Minna

No fewer than 3,630 villagers have been displaced as bandits sack them from their ancestral homes in two local government areas of Niger State.

The attack on the communities in Rafi and Shiroro Local Governments last Thursday also reportedly led to the abduction of 35 people mostly women by the bandits.

The Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Alhaji Ibrahim Inga, told THISDAY on Monday that the 3,000 people displaced as a result of the attack, were presently being taken care of at an Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) camp created at Government Second School, Kagara, while 630 others are camped at a school in Pandogari town.

The state government, he said, was providing relief materials including food stuff for the displaced people but pleaded with the public to come to their assistance.

According to Inga, NSEMA was already collaborating with security agencies in the state to secure the lives and property of other villagers left in the troubled communities.

“We have a problem because of the elections the security agencies are already overstretched but they are doing their best.

“We have just been told that a detachment of men of the Nigerian Army have been deployed in the area to protect the lives and property of the villagers,” he said.

Asked if the security situation would allow for the conduct of elections in the affected communities on Saturday, Inga said: “For now, I cannot say. What I know is that the place is tense.”

The senators representing Niger East senatorial district, David Umar, and that for Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, had last week raised the alarm about the deterioration in the security situation in the areas, a claim that was also confirmed by the Special Adviser to the Niger State governor (All Matters), Mr Pius Wakili.

The duo of Sani and Umaru had also claimed that no fewer than 15 people had been killed with scores abducted.