By Laleye Dipo
No fewer than 17 men of the local security outfit in Dukku town of Rijau Local Government Area of Niger State were on Wednesday ambushed and killed by bandits.
The local vigilante men however killed three of the bandits.
According to a report from the area, the Dukku community worried by the frequent attacks by bandits mobilised to take the battle to the hoodlums who were said to be hibernating in the Iri forest in the area.
Eyewitnesses said the plan to attack the bandits leaked resulting in the bandits ambushing the men of the vigilante in the forest and in the process, killed 17 of them, while the vigilante reportedly killed three bandits.
The Chairman of Rijau Local Government, Alhaji Bawa Bello, when contacted on phone confirmed the story.
Bello said: “Yes, it happened. We killed some of the bandits and the bandits killed some of our men.
“I have submitted a written report to the Commissioner for Local Government, who is our boss. He should give you the details.”
The Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, could not be reached to give details of the attack, but the Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Idris, when contacted confirmed the story.
The police also have not confirmed the story.
Meanwhile, the latest report on Wednesday nights’ attack on Kagara town has revealed that five people, including a woman and a policeman, were killed and 12 others kidnapped by armed men who raided the town.
The Chairman of the local government council, Alhaji Ismaila Modibo, when contacted, gave the update, saying no fewer than eight people were injured in the attack.
Modibo however said that the bandits were not successful in their attempt to steal money from a first generation bank in the town.
“The bank robbery was not successful,” Modibo said.
The Niger State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, accompanied by the Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Adamu Usman, carried out an on-the-spot visit to the troubled town on Thursday.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has in the meantime appealed to the people of the state “to remain calm as government is on top of the security situation in the state” and has “deployed resources to ensure the protection of their lives and property”.
In a statement on Wednesday’s Kagara bandits attack signed on his behalf by the Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, on Thursday, Governor Bello acknowledged the enormity of the security challenges facing the state, but assured the people that the state in collaboration with President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies remain undaunted in its war against the lower societal elements making life miserable for the people.
Bello however appealed to the people to always avail the security agencies with information that will lead to the arrest of criminal elements in the society.