By Laleye Dipo
Not less than seven men of the local vigilant group in Mashegu local government area of Niger state have been killed by bandits. Several others have also been injured and hospitalised.
The bandits also burnt 50 motorcycles belonging to the vigilantes
It was learnt that the incident occured few days after bandits killed seven farmers in the area about two weeks ago.
Following this development, THISDAY learnt that the vigilante mobilised to “wage war” against the bandits who were said to be hibernating in the forests in the area.
According to the reliable source, a mole within the vigilant group leaked the plan to the bandits resulting in the gunmen launching attack on them where they were making the final plan for the attack on the bandits.
“The bandits shot sporadically at the vigilantes killing seven of them and injuring several others,” the eyewitness said adding that the bandits also set fire to 50 Motorcycles belonging to the local security men parked a distance to where the meeting was being held.
The Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Matane when contacted confirmed the story, describing the incident as “saddening”.
Matane however said government in collaboration with all the security agencies in the state had begun a massive assault on bandits lurking around forests in the state. He said:”Recently the security agencies burnt down completely one of the camps of the bandits”.
Meanwhile not less than 40 Fulanis and some members of their families have been arrested by security operatives at the Abdulsalami Abubakar motor park in Minna. The arrest took place last Monday morning.
Reports said the Fulani men were suspected bandits who escaped from one of the local government areas of the state where security men had launched attack to stop banditry and kidnapping.
Those arrested were said to have stayed the night at the motor park for a journey that will take them outside the state that Monday morning but their plan leaked to the security operatives.
It was said that three trucks loaded with heavily armed soldiers, policemen and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps carried out the operation after which they took those arrested to unknown destination.
When contacted on phone, the Police Public Relations Officer, Niger State Police Command, ASP Wasiu Abiodun, promised to investigate and get back to THISDAY but has to do so.