Friday, April 23, 2021 11:07 am
Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
Shortly after the Nigeria Army closed down a military camp at Zagzaga community in Manya Local Government Area of Niger State, scores of bandits invaded the area and enjoyed a field day.
The gunmen numbering about 60 stormed adjoining villages on Wednesday night and abducted no less than 15 persons during their rampage.
The camp was closed down on Wednesday in what was described as a “tactical withdrawal” following a clash between the army and the bandits earlier in the day.
A soldier was declared missing in the bloody clash that allegedly led to the killing of many bandits.
Daily Trust reports that communities affected in the fresh attacks at night are Zagzaga, Zhani, Guni and Maraban Daudu.
Traumatized residents of the communities are reported to have all relocated from the villages, leaving only the youths and some men behind.
A source said the 15 people were abducted from Boddo village in the early hours of Thursday during the invasion.
When contacted on the latest incident, the Secretary to the State Government said the military camp was closed temporarily for tactical reasons, stressing that the military has been stationed in the community for the past five years due to the notorious nature of the area.
Banditry and kidnapping have been on the rise in the State for some months now. Early this year, a large number of students were abducted from a secondary school in the State.
He disclosed that Zagzaga community and other surrounding villages have remained entry and exit routes for the bandits before the soldiers were brought and stationed there, adding that the people have enjoyed a steady peace for the past five years that the military were there.
It would be recalled that bandits have intensified their operations in Niger State. More than 20 passengers returning from a wedding were kidnapped from a commercial bus earlier in the year.
Shortly after that, bandits stormed Government Science College, Kagara where they abducted 27 students and 15 staff members and their relations. Their fate attracted widespread condemnations across the contry. They later regained their freedom.
Details of how their release was secured are still unknown.