Bandits terrorising more than 300 Niger communities have killed over 200 people and abducted 200 others between January 1 and 17 this year, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello reveals.
He explained, “In January alone this year, we suffered not less than 50 reported attacks and loss of lives between first and 17th (of) January. Within the same period, not less than 300 communities have been invaded by bandits.”
The governor added that 200 Niger residents were kidnapped, including three Chinese nationals.
He disclosed this on Tuesday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa in Abuja.
“We also lost some security personnel – their number is 25. Unfortunately, we lost about 165 civilians and 30 local vigilantes,” Mr Bello lamented. “So, it’s a very dire situation that we have been battling in the last few weeks since the beginning of this year.”
The Niger governor also disclosed that Niger residents in various communities paid levies to bandits to avoid attacks.
Peoples Gazette reported how bandits brutally killed over 200 Zamfara residents and torched their homes last week.
Speaking after the vicious murders, Mr Buhari, in a statement last week, urged citizens in the affected areas to exercise “patience.”
Before 2015, Mr Buhari had blamed heightened insecurity on 16 years of misrule of the Peoples Democratic Party, promising to tackle insecurity when elected.
However, since Mr Buhari’s regime took over the reins of power in 2015, insecurity has deteriorated.