– Nigerian authorities have a major security problem in their hands over the proliferation of armed groups
– In the north-west and north-central, armed bandits are running riot by the day killing and kidnapping citizens
– One of those kidnapped recently in Niger state by the armed men, narrated her experience while being held, hostage
One of the victims kidnapped by bandits in Niger, Hajia Jummai Isah, has revealed that there are over 1,000 criminals of the armed men living in thick forests in the state.
Isah made the revelation while speaking to Daily Trust on her ordeal in the hands of the criminal gangs.
She was part of the 53 persons kidnapped from a Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) bus recently by the bandits.
“They were threatening us and beating the men. They really beat the hell out of the men but all they wanted from us was money. They kept demanding money from us. They gave us dirty water to drink.
“Their ammunition is out of this world. I have never seen those kinds of arms in my life. They have different kinds of assorted weapons. They are more than 1,000 in the bush.
“I am happy now that I have regained freedom. I thank God that I am still alive because I thought I would not come out alive.”
Meanwhile, popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has declared that the federal government knows the hideout of the killer-herdsmen and bandits involved in killings, kidnappings, and other criminal activities across the country.
The cleric made the comment on Monday, February 22 while appearing as a guest on a Channels Television political programme.
According to him, security forces have not moved to dislodge the terrorists because the government is playing safe after realising its former approach of attacking the bandits frontally has not yielded positive results.
Meanwhile, armed bandits on Saturday evening, February 20 launched another attack on Gurmana ward in Shiroro local government area of Niger state.
Over 15 people were suspected to have drowned in River Kaduna as they tried to escape from the bandits’ attack.
Sources say the bandits were armed with sophisticated weapons and were shooting sporadically when they entered the community.
Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.