Following increasing spate of bandits’ attacks in Niger state, the state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has conveyed an expanded security meeting at the Government House in Minna with all heads of state security in attendance.
The meeting, which began about 11:00am on Monday also had in attendance traditional rulers led by the state Chairman Council of Traditional Rulers, Estu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, all the Chairmen of local government areas under siege from bandits, state Executive Council members from the affected LGAs and other stakeholders.
Although, details from the meeting are sketchy, our reporter gathered that the meeting is still ongoing as at the time of filing this report this evening.
The meeting is coming barely 24 hours after an Inspector of Police, Ibrahim Mitra and an unnamed member of a vigilante group were killed in an encounter with bandits in Bangi town, headquarters of Mariga local government of Niger state.
The police Inspector was said to have fought and killed at least six of the bandits before he fell to the superior fire power from the bandits, who were said to be over 60 in number.
A reliable source closed to the community told our correspondent that the incident reportedly occurred around 2:00pm on Sunday.
The source said the bandits had earlier on Saturday raided the community during which they rustled about three hundred cattle adding that the police team led by Inspector Mitra repelled the attack.
It was gathered that the bandits fled, got reinforcement and on Sunday launched an all-out attack on the community where the police Inspector was gun down after engaging them in fierce gun battle.
“They were up-to 60 bandits and were all on motorcycles carrying sophisticated rifles. They shot sporadically and in the process, the Inspector and the vigilante were killed.
“The police however were able to kill 6 of the bandits,” the source said.
It was gathered that the slain policeman was only recently transferred from Tudun Wada division in the state capital, Minna to Bangi.
Meanwhile, the Niger state police command in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Muhammad Abubakar, in Minna confirmed the attack.
He said the police Inspector was killed when the Joint Police/Military team in Bangi went to respond to a distress call that some armed bandits suspected to be cattle rustlers had stormed Muchiya Kaji Village to rustle cattle.
“The team responded quickly and engaged the bandits in a fierce gun battle, and wounded three of the armed bandits, forcing other bandits to abandon the cattle and fled to the bush.
“One AK-47 Rifle and one Bajaj motorcycle were recovered as exhibits but unfortunately one Police Inspector, Ibrahim Mitra Chibok attached to Niger State Police Command died during the encounter,” he said.
He further added that two officers however sustained gun wounds and are currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in Minna.