By Laleye Dipo
Barely four days after four policemen were killed in a shootout with bandits in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, the bandits have again killed five persons in attacks on communities in Shiroro and Rafi Local Government Areas of the state.
The latest attacks occurred in Kundu village in Rafi council area and Gurmana in Shiroro council Monday.
The senator representing the areas in the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Musa, who confirmed the incident in a statement by his Senior Legislative Aide, Alhaji Sagir Musa, described the attacks as “one too many in recent times”.
The councillor representing Kikoki ward of Shiroro council area, Alhaji Mohammed Jafaru, in a telephone interview, also confirmed the incident but the police have not made any comment on the incident apart from declaring two of its men missing in the shootout with bandits last week.
Jafaru said in the attack by bandits on Monday no fewer than 100 houses were burnt, while several property were made away with.
Musa, in the statement, accused the government of not doing enough to arrest the attacks on the people in the two local government areas which have consequently dislocated their economic and social lives.
The federal lawmaker said: “If the federal government will not take necessary steps to stem the tide of banditry attacks in the areas, my people are ready to take up arms to defend themselves.
“My heart is pained seeing the bloodletting in my constituency. Women are raped and killed. Men are maimed and children rendered fatherless. This development is really sad, especially that it has remained a recurring decimal.
“We have made several appeals to the federal government. We paid courtesy visit to His Excellency the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, on our predicament. But, yet no end to these marauders’ carnage as they keep killing and maiming our people.”
According to him, “The youths in my constituency have decided henceforth to defend themselves in view of the failure of the federal government to address the lingering challenge. We have tried to calm them down all this while, assuring them of federal government’s intervention. Now they have lost hope, and are deciding to defend themselves in any way they can, as they lost hope that the federal government will do any justice to their plight.”
Musa had earlier advised the federal government to establish military bases in strategic locations in the two local government areas to enable soldiers promptly attend to attacks by the bandits.
“Mr President must come to the aid of the people. Their lives and livelihood are hanging in the balance, with economic activities completely stalled. Farmlands have been destroyed and many abandoned by their owners who have fled their homes in fear of the unknown. These people are predominantly farmers and that’s what they know how to do, government must take action now,” he said in the statement.