Niger communities abandon homes for bandits, opt to pay for protection
The worsening security situation in Shiroro and Mariga Local Government Areas in Niger State, has made communities to abandon their homes for fear of being killed or kidnapped by bandits who have dominated the entire area.
The Guardian gathered that residents of Karanbana, a community that shares a border with Kebbi and Zamfara states, have abandoned their homes.
A resident of Karanbana community, who managed to escape from the village, Aliyu Sani told The Guardian that the bandits have been killing and molesting people in their homes, stressing that some people want to leave the village, but the bandits won’t allow them.
He explained that the bandits monitor movement of villagers from one point to another, and never allowed them to move for a distance of one kilometre within the community.
“We are ready to pay from our pockets to security agents for the safety of our life, sincerely, within a few days, about 20 people have been killed, but, I am not sure of the number, sometimes, they killed and dumped their dead bodies in the bush,” Sani said.
Also, women and children in some communities of Munya Local Government Area of the state have deserted their homes, as terrorists controlled several villages.
A resident of one of the villages, who gave her name simply as Aisha, said:” Terrorists have been killing our men and children, they never allow us to sleep”.
Recall that Governor Abubakar Sani Bello had earlier stated that the security agents are not relenting in efforts to restore peace in some parts of the state suffering from frequent attacks by armed bandits.
The governor enjoined people to provide the security agents with useful information that would assist them in responding to terrorists in Munya and environs.
But stakeholders have expressed concerns over the security situation confronting parts of the state, and advised the Federal and Niger State Government to intensify effort towards restoring peace in the troubled areas.