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Bandits Kill Pastor, 20 Others Missing As Villagers Flee Homes In Niger

Villagers affected by bandit attacks in parts of Niger state which claimed the life of a pastor, have begun to desert their homes at night for fear of the unknown as their assailants take over their homes.

The villagers who lamented their fate disclosed that the suspected Boko-Haram extremist group, also ransack the homes of their victims carting away both food and material belongings of the villagers who are basically farmers.

The renewed attacks since last week has claimed many lives and properties worth several millions of naira lost to the criminals operating on motor bikes with sophisticated weapons unchallenged.

A source from the affected villages disclosed that two people have lost their lives in the past four days while twenty others are feared missing while several others sustained various degrees of injuries as they made their way to nearby bushes for safety.

Some of the villagers from the affected communities including; Rafi-Doko, Yakila, Katako, Ogu, Teggina in Rafi and surrounding villages are now running away from their communities in their numbers with their loads on their heads heading to nowhere in particular.

Some of the affected Nigerlites had told journalists that they could no longer watch to see themselves being slaughtered by the armed bandits after severally calling on both the Niger state government and the federal government without any solution in sight.

One of the villagers, Shehu, specifically said they have lost hope on the government as there seems to be nobody caring about what happens to them. “The bandits now operate freely unchallenged. They took their time to ransack our homes and took away our foodstuff.

“They attacked two villages on Sunday and a Pastor and the wife and the pastor’s friend were killed by the bandits,” Shehu said, adding that his people are no longer safe and are only trying to check further loss of lives by abandoning their homes to the bandits.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that critical stakeholders have met severally to evolve ways of ending bandits’ siege of the state but such efforts have failed to yield desired results as the bandits seemed to have informants who inform them of whatever strategies that are being made to end their siege.

The Director-General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Alhaji Ibrahim Inga, who also confirmed the attacks on the communities and the casualties, said the villagers are fleeing their communities to safety zones.

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