Gunmen attack Niger communities, kidnap two people

By Ummi Ismaeel,
Minna

Communities in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State have raised the alarm over the invasion of the area by armed men numbering about 40.
They said that the invaders attacked and kidnapped especially women and children unhindered for days due to the absence of police and other security officials.
Our correspondent gathered that the armed men at Muye, Egba and Gupa-Abugi wards in Lapai Local Government Area also kidnapped a married woman, Zainab Mundi Emirokukpa, and a little boy, Abdulrashid Attahiru Chepa, at Lambata near Cheku.
Another boy simply identified as Awwal Danladi Dagbaje (17 years old), it was gathered, was also attacked by the hoodlums, while traveling to the neighbouring village in the outskirt of Dagbaje, leaving him with serious injuries.
Also, on Sunday night at about 8pm, some locals were attacked at Lambata village and one Amodu, a trader, who runs a provision store in the area, narrowly escaped being kidnapped but lost his mobile phone and other valuables in his shop to the kidnappers.
Amodu was allegedly contacted and notified by the criminals about their visit few days earlier to be expecting them. He was asked to make available N1.5 million or be ready to be killed if he fails to provide the money to them.
Investigations also revealed that the families of the two other victims of the attack had been trying to raise money to pay the bandits who are now demanding for N700, 000 ransom to avoid further attacks.

Meanwhile, able bodied men and youths in the area have deserted some of the villages to safer haven while few others who chose to remain in the affected areas now resort to staying indoors to avoid being kidnapped.

A member of the vigilante group in the area said that they were handicapped in dealing with insecurity because the kidnappers possess more sophisticated weapons.
“We had wanted to fight back to protect ourselves but because we have no authority to kill anybody”, he said and called on the state and local governments to come to their rescue.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Niger State Police Command, DSP Mohammed Abubakar, could not be reached for confirmation as calls to his mobile phone were not answered at the time of filing this report.

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