By Laleye Dipo in Minna
Following the escalation of bandit attacks in parts of Niger east senatorial zone in the last couple of weeks, the federal government has been urged to deploy soldiers in the affected areas.
The senator representing Niger east senatorial zone Alhaji Sani Musa who made the request in a statement made available to newsmen in Minna on Thursday lamented that several villagers had abandoned their homes and farms as a result of attacks by bandits, a development he said had started affecting their socio economic lives.
Musa who named Shiroro and Rafi local governments as areas most hit by bandits also asked the federal government to immediately provide relief materials to the villagers who are now in Internally Displaced People’s Camp in Kagara town.
“In the last few days, our people have not had a moment of peace. They are on the run, forced to flee their homes and dispossessed of their belongings by the attackers. This cannot go on. So, I urge the security agencies to immediately take action to handle the situation
“I call on heads of the Police, the military and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps in the state to take immediate steps to tackle the renewed attacks by gunmen in Rafi and Shiroro local government areas which have plunged residents into unnecessary sufferings and lack,” Musa said in the statement.
He said, “It hurts to see our people running helter skelter due to the operations by bandits. They have been sacked from their homes and almost all they have laboured for taken from them. As their Senator I am really pained.”
He however urged the people to “remain calm and not panic, assuring that he would do everything possible to ensure that they are returned to their homes with the assurance of security and peace.
Not less than 800 people are camped at Ahmadu Attaihiru Senior Secondary school and the Lafene primary school, both in Kagara, after they fled their ancestral homes as a result of bandit attacks with reports saying they are living in conditions not conducive for human habitation.
In the meantime, hundreds of youths in Kagara town on Wednesday protested the increase in bandit attacks on their kit and kins asking government to immediately arrest the situation.
The youths blocked the roads into and out of the town carrying fresh leaves and posters demanding for the restoration of peace in the local governments.