Presence of a yet-to-be-identified helicopter hovering around villages in rural Niger State is generating tension among residents as security agents expressed concern over the development.
A vast plot of land belonging to the Nigerian Army (NA) in Kontagora local government of Niger State is harbouring armed bandits terrorizing several parts of the State, according to PRNigeria.
- Zamfara: Bandits invade Dansadau town, cart away 300 cows, loot shops
- 2 soldiers shot dead as bandits abduct expatriate in Niger
Concerned about the development, the Nigerian Army under the current leadership is devising new measures to tackle the activities of the criminals on its land and in neighbouring communities.
The bandits have established their camps at Matan Kari, Fagai, Ozowo, Bihima and Kan Libo, among other mountains inside the army land.
The camps, according to checks by PRNigeria, are mountainous areas, within the massive hectare, where the criminals first gather their abducted victims, before moving them to Kaduna, Zamfara and other Northern States, via forests’ paths.
They are also being used by bandits operating within the axis to congregate herds of rustled cattle, before ferrying them beyond the State’s borders.
The ‘flat and levelled surfaces’ on top of the mountains, according to an undercover security officer and some locals, is where a yet-to-be-identified private helicopter often ‘touches down’.
They, however, could not tell who owns the helicopter, and the mission it regularly undertakes to the bandits’ hideouts.
He also told PRNigeria that whenever the white helicopter hovers around communities within Kontagora and Mariga axis, bandits’ attack follows.
It was learnt that a team of policemen and local vigilantes embarked on daring missions to the notorious camps of the bandits, on three separate occasions last year.
Images of some items discovered on the mountainous hideouts, which include syringes, cans of soft drinks, spare parts of motor cycles, plugs, among other relics, were sighted by PRNigeria.
The huge army land, which starts from the military Barrack in Kontagora town, extends over to Mai Guge community, in Mariga local government. It is almost 40km in length.
Credible sources said not only banditry, and kidnapping, but illegal mining secretly thrives on the land, too.
Meanwhile, a top military officer in the area told PRNigeria that Nigerian Army has deployed extra troops to the state to protect the citizens.
The officer who pleaded anonymity said the situation at the barrack’s vast land and communities worst hit by banditry is being looked into for prompt actions.
“I am aware that the Nigerian Army under the current leadership of Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru has given directive on the need for the fencing, especially some strategic portions of the land since a foundation pit has already been dug.
“The military high commands is also considering the probability of building Satellite Camps and even Super Camps in various places within the land. The interesting thing now is the fact that there has been a tremendous synergy of the military, the police and other security agencies across the entire Niger State, not only within Kontagora and Mariga local governments,” the source added.