Block Escape Routes of Fleeing Terrorists, Senate Tasks Military

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Sunday Aborisade

The Senate, yesterday, urged the military and security agencies in the country to closely monitor and block the escape routes being used by fleeing terrorists.

It said doing so would forestall their relocation to safe havens in other parts of Niger State and the country.

The red chamber also urged the National Emergency Management Agency to provide food and other supports to affected villages as well as the internally displaced persons in Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora and Borgu local government areas in Niger North Senatorial District.

The resolutions were reached by the Senate following a motion on “Renewed kidnappings and Banditry Attacks on Communities in Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora and Borgu local government areas of Niger North Senatorial District.”

Deputy Whip of the Senate, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, moved the motion, and bemoaned the disturbing trend of renewed kidnappings and banditry in communities of Mariga, Mashegu and Kontagora local government areas of Niger State.

“Following the massive onslaught against criminal elements and bandits operating in eastern parts of Sokoto State and Zamfara, there was massive movement of these escaping bandits and their criminal elements into Niger State and specifically, into Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State.

“The bandits continuously attacked communities in Mariga LGA leading to massive internal displacement of many communities. Currently, Villagers have moved out of MaÚndu, Alabani, Sappaji in Berri Ward; over twenty villages are now empty in Galma/Wamba ward and scanty residents in Ukuru, Igoma, Maruba and Ruka villages in Bobbi Ward.

“Communities that border Kaduna, Zamfara and Kebbi States located in Mariga LGA namely Galma, Makici, Makogi Na Maforo, Nassarawa, and Kwanan Duci are constantly being attacked by bandits and over 15 persons killed in Bobbi ward of Mariga LGA.

“Some notorious bandits in their numbers operated for hours in five villages on Friday, 14 January 2022, where several cattle were rustled as villagers fled their homes. The bandits first attacked Tungan-Ruá village in the morning, later moved to Tungan Maje and also rustled cattle.

“The same day they attacked Kawo Mashegu, where two people were killed, four persons abducted and proceeded to attack Tungan Magaji village, where several cattle were also taken away.

“After several operations, 17 persons were abducted including two persons delivering ransom. The same day Farin Shinge village, a few kilometres away from Kontagora town, was also attacked and two persons kidnapped.

“The bandits are in the habit of burning down villages, burning farms with agricultural produce unharvested, stealing the home stored foods of villages they attack with the danger of those who brave the odds to go to their farms for harvest being killed or kidnapped. Many villagers are now IDPS in places like Bangi, Mangoro and other safer locations with no food or amenities for their livelihoods.”

The Senate, however, resolved to observe a one-minute silence for those who lost their lives.