Bandits operating in Niger State carried out a series of attacks this weekend, leading to the deaths of Mukhtar Sabiu, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Paiko, Headquarters of Paikoro Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State, and four other police officers.
The victims were shot dead along Kwakuti village, Minna-Suleja road on Saturday.
The Niger State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, said the DPO and his men were killed in a gun duel.
“At about 1100hrs, information was received that armed bandits were sighted around Kwakuti-Dajigbe villages area of Lambata, in an attempt to attack some communities around Gurara LGA.
“Combined teams of police from Gawu-Babangida Div and Paiko Div, military, and vigilante members were drafted to the scene, the hoodlums were engaged in a gun duel and repelled with scores of them being neutralized, while others escaped with bullet injuries,” he said.
A commercial who ply Minna-Abuja, Adamu Usman, told Daily Trust that bandits in their numbers blocked Minna-Abuja road around 10am on Saturday for several hours, forcing many travellers to return home.
“Yesterday in our parks in Minna and Jabi, Abuja, passengers were scarce because when people heard what happened, many people went back home. Before I could get passengers from Minna to Abuja yesterday, it was around 1pm.
“Our colleagues who were caught on road said bandits were in large numbers somewhere around Kwakuti with hundreds of cattle. So, they had to return to Minna and from there, many passengers postponed their journeys. I did not leave until I heard that they had crossed to the other side. If you had gone to Jabi park yesterday, you wouldn’t have seen many passengers going to Minna.” he said.
Daily Trust gathered that bandits attempted to attack Chibani market, Munya Local Government Area, on Friday but where repelled by joint security operatives.
A resident, who didn’t want his name mentioned, said bandits also invaded Zazzaga community of Munya Local Government Area, causing panic, especially in communities of Mutun Daya where there was weekly market.
He said more people had continued to flee their Communities in the last few weeks due to constant movement of bandits around Munya, Paikoro and Shiroro Local Government Areas.