By Laleye Dipo
Bandits on Sunday morning attacked four communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, killing a pastor, a blind man and three others.
The late pastor’s church was also burnt just like some houses in one of the affected communities.
Shiroro and Rafi Local Government Areas of the state have been the epicentre of bandits’ attacks in the state which have led to the death of scores of people with many others maimed.
The affected communities are Nankuna, Nansa Eburo and Lagodo in the Erena district of the local government area.
The early Sunday morning attack also left several villagers injured with some others displaced following the burning of their houses by the bandits.
Eyewitnesses said no fewer than 1,000 cattle were rustled by the invaders.
“They came in about 50 motorcycles and were riding dangerously round the communities at times shooting into the air,” the eyewitness said on telephone.
He said the blind man was killed as he came out of the bush where he had gone to ease himself while the pastor was shot in front of his church before they set it ablaze.
The witness said there was no response from security operatives who were supposed to be on duty in the area.
Efforts to get the Niger State Police Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Wasiu Abiodun, was not successful even as the cell phones of officials of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) were not connecting.
Last week, a site engineer and three construction workers of an indigenous construction company were kidnapped from the same area by bandits who later demanded N1 billion as ransom.
The ransom was reduced to N700 million on Sunday just as one of the victims reportedly escaped from the kidnappers when they were crossing a river in Kaduna State.
The state Ministry of Works, where the site engineer works, has not made any statement on the matter.