Over the past few years, bandits have taken a center stage in Nigeria’s North-West and North-Central regions.
Their activities have posed a major security threat as villagers no longer feel safe in places they once called home, Daily Trust reports.
These armed groups have invaded several villages, farms, correctional centers, dormitories amongst others. Their attacks have led to numerous fatalities and kidnaps for ransom, which has become a common phenomenon in the affected localities.
A family with loved one(s) in captivity will be left with no choice but to sell off all their property in other to secure the release of the victims’ release.
In recent times, these regions have witnessed a spike in deadly assaults and kidnappings by bandits.
Below is a list of some of these attacks recorded in Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto and Katsina states in the past two weeks, as compiled by Daily Trust.
March 26 Airport Attack
On Saturday, March 26 2022, bandits invaded the Kaduna international airport.
Reports said the terrorists stormed the airport through the perimeter fence from a nearby forest at about 1:00p.m on bikes, killing one security official identified as Shehu Na’Allah, at the runway. The attack also prevented a plane from taking off to Lagos around 12:30pm.
Catholic Priest, 44 others abducted
On Sunday, March 27 2022, bandits abducted the Catholic Parish priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Sarkin Pawa, the Headquarters of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State, Very Rev Father Leo Raphael Ozigi and 44 other villagers.
Our correspondent learnt that the reverend father was abducted on his way to Gwada from Sarkin Pawa when he ran into bandits operating on the Sarkin Pawa-Gwada road who whisked him away alongside other villagers.
Raids of Unguwar Bulus, Unguwar Gimbiya
On Thursday, March 31 2022, residents of Unguwar Bulus and Unguwar Gimbiya communities in Kaduna State experienced ‘terrible’ attacks as bandits stormed their communities at about 8:00pm.
Residents said they heard gunshots that lasted for hours, forcing many of them to flee.
A resident, whose cousin was killed during the attack, described the experience as terrible.
Ben Maigari said his cousin was shot by the bandits, while his uncle (the boy’s father) was abducted at Unguwar Bulus. He gave the name of his cousin as Lewis Elkana.
Hayin Kanwa village attack
At least 15 villagers were killed when bandits invaded Hayin Kanwa village, Yakawada ward in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State, on Sunday March 27 2022.
The incident happened three days after about 50 people were reportedly killed across nine villages in the same LGA.
A resident of Giwa, who simply identified himself as Ridwan, told Daily Trust that bandits stormed the village frequently.
He said, “They came into the village shooting sporadically which led to the death of these people. Do you know that the dead bodies couldn’t be evacuated till this morning?”
Farmers, seven travellers abducted
On Wednesday, March 30 2022, bandits abducted two farmers at Unguwar Barde village along Kaduna-Abuja highway.
The incident happened while the villagers were cleaning the farm in preparation for farming season. The two victims were identified as Wada and Idi, both married with children.
On Tuesday, March 29, seven passengers on board Benue State-owned transport vehicle known as Benue Links were kidnapped, one week after six other passengers travelling to Lagos on board Benue Links were abducted in Ochadamu in Kogi. The abductors reproetdly collected about N5 million ransom before the victims were released.
Bandits invade Kaduna-Abuja highway
There was pandemonium along Kaduna-Abuja highway on Thursday, March 31 2022 when bandits, in their numbers, reportedly blocked the ever-busy road. The bandits headed towards western part of the main road shooting sporadically.
It was gathered that the gunshots forced motorists to make emergency U-turn around 3:pm, even though there was no report of abductions.
Sources along the highway told Daily Trust that the bandits passed through a community called Kwari village near
However, the state government through its Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, clarified that bandits did not operate on the highway.
Broad daylight murder in Zamfara
Bandits on Friday, April 1 2022 invaded four villages in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State. The invasion reportedly led to the gruesome murder of at least 17 villagers in broad daylight.
Residents said the armed men invaded Kadaddaba community in the afternoon, firing at them. They said there was no any provocation on the part of the residents that warranted the attacks.
Bandits in ‘military uniform’ kill four
Bandits in the wee hours of April 4, 2022 invaded Tsafe town, the headquarters of Tsafe LGA of Zamfara State, killing four persons including the son of the state’s Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, retired DIG Ibrahim Mamman Tsafe.
Residents told Daily Trust that the criminals, wearing military uniforms, stormed Shiyar Namada area close to the commissioner’s residence and opened fire on people.
Terrorists raid Daza, Rumache-Madalla
On Thursday, April 7 2022, at about 5:00pm, bandits freelyoperated in Daza community in Munya Local Government Area of Niger State.
Witnesses, who confirmed this to Daily trust, said many residents have fled their homes for safety.
A resident of the community, Nurudeen Isyaku Daza, said the bandits have been operating unchallenged.
On the same day, three persons were killed while several others sustained injuries in an attack on Rumache-Madalla community in Bassa/Kukoki Ward, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State while many others were abducted.
Sani Abubakar Yusuf Kokki, Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths Of Niger State, told Daily Trust that the bandits attacked the community with sophisticated weapons.
Correctional Service’s farm invasion
In the wee hours of Monday April 11 2022, bandits stormed a farm belonging to the Nigerian Correctional Service in Kujama town, headquarters of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing one person and rustling unspecified number of cows.
Many other animals were reportedly stolen during the attack.
A community leader in Kujama, who didn’t want to be named, described the incident as worrisome.
“Yes, the bandits came to the farm in the wee hours of Monday and rustled virtually all the cows and sheep at the farm belonging to Nigerian Correctional Service. One person was also killed on the farm,” he said.
23 killed, many abducted in Giwa
On Tuesday, bandits again killed 23 people and injured many in two villages of Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State. It was said to be the fourth attack in a row by bandits within a week in villages across the local government area.
Villages attacked by the gunmen included Anguwar Maiwa and Anguwar Kanwa. An eyewitness said the bandits attacked the villages around 1:00 am on Tuesday, adding that 22 dead bodies had been discovered with the help of security operatives out of 23.
Jabiri Quarters abduction
A housewife and her three stepchildren were abducted by terrorists in Jabiri Quarters, Funtua Local Government Area of Katsina State. The gunmen invaded one of the residences of one Shamsudeen Muhammad Kalgo in the early hours of Tuesday and whisked away his wife, Malama Badiyya Shamsu and his children, Almustapha Shamsu,12, Zainab, 9, and Halima Siyama Shamsu, 6.
Confirming the unfortunate incident, Shamsudeen’s elder brother who pleaded anonymity said his younger brother was with his first wife at another residence when the incident happened.
Zamfara college kidnap
Some female students at Zamfara College of Health Technology, Tsafe, were also abducted on Wednesday. A lecturer at the institution, who spoke off the record, said the kidnappers abducted the students from their hostel, which is outside the school campus.
It is unclear the actual number of students kidnapped, but a source told Daily Trust that the gunmen whisked away five persons.