By Laleye Dipo
The federal and Niger State governments have been tasked to intervene in the escalating bandits’ attacks on communities in the Niger east senatorial zone of the state.
In the last couple of days, bandits have killed no fewer than eight people, four of them soldiers and a village head; kidnapped over 30 villagers, injured several others and rendered more than 1,000 homeless in Munya and Shiroro Local Government areas of the state.
The senator representing Niger east senatorial district of the state in the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Musa, in a statement, regretted that no government attention has been shown to the troubled communities since the attacks which have been a daily occurrence since it started.
Musa, who said he had to cut short his foreign trip in order to be able to attend to the plight of his people, described the attacks as unfortunate.
“For several months now, my people (the people of Niger east) have not had a moment of solitude. Bandits have taken away sleep from their eyes, be it in the day time or at night. Many lives have been cut short, women have been raped, some even before their spouses, children have been turned to orphans and many have been abducted with huge ransoms being demanded. Cattle are being rustled, farm produce and other valuables are stolen. This is besides thousands of persons who have been rendered homeless.
“Despite several calls and appeals to concerned authorities for action on the situation, not much has been done. The havoc rendered by bandits on my people in the past few months is immeasurable and the pains indescribable,” he said.
Musa therefore “appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, and all service chiefs in the country to provide lasting solution to the menace”.
“This is not the first time I am making this kind of passionate appeal but not much has been done to address the situation. I pray that his Excellency would hear my appeal this time and use his powers in this regard.
“I have no doubt that the federal government has the capacity to tackle the problem once and for all, considering the efforts of Mr President in tackling insurgency in the North-east since his assumption in office,” he said.
The senator commended what he described as “the resilient efforts of the security agencies in the state”, but called on them to redouble their efforts by ensuring that the perpetrators of the heinous and dastardly acts are not only flushed out but arrested and adequately prosecuted.
Meanwhile, the District Head of Beni, Alhaji Yakubu Umar Beni, has appealed to the state government to come to the aid of his people in the payment of the ransom demanded by bandits, who kidnapped 17 people from his domain, saying the bandits are demanding over N49 million for the release of the victims else they will be killed.
The district head, in a telephone interview, said his subjects cannot raise the money therefore the state government should come to the community’s assistance.