Hassan Attahiru, the Emir of Bungudu, has accused the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) of ignoring distress calls put through when bandits were ravaging communities under his control.

He also said the ongoing banditry in the state has become worse despite military intervention.

Speaking in an interview with Punch newspaper, he revealed that bandits recently stormed his domain in broad daylight and killed 15 people.

The emir said that the Air Force ignored a distress call when the bandits attacked his domain.

Attahiru stated: “Just on Saturday, in my domain, the bandits struck in broad daylight and killed 15 people. Thirteen people died instantly, while two others gave up the ghost later.

“The worst of all was that when the local government chairman alerted the head of the air force to the attack, the response he got from the other end was that he was not supposed to have picked his (of the LG chairman) call, ‘since you people have decided to disgrace us.’

“When the council chairman informed me of what transpired, I picked my phone and called the air force commander. Three times I did, but he never picked my calls and since Saturday, he has yet to return my calls.”

Attahiru also emphasised that the places where the bandits kept their kidnapped victims had not been reached by the security agencies.

He said: “Nobody is saying they are not doing anything. They need to do more by taking the battle to the bandits’ enclaves, instead of fighting them at the periphery.

“Most times, when they strike and retreat, these bandits regroup and launch more ferocious attacks on innocent villagers, accusing them of inviting the security agencies.

“These bandits are still around and wreaking havoc. The security forces should take the war to them.”

The Emir of Bungudu also pointed out that kidnapped victims were kept in several places where the bandits had camps, scattered around and not at Dumburum alone.

“We have notified the security agencies about their camps. Some are kept in southern Maru, Bunuwe, in Birnin area, and Dandili. The victims are not actually kept in those villages but in forests and rocky terrains," he added.

However, Clement Abiade, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, denied that the army ignored a distress call from the emir.

He said: “I have not got such report that our troops on the ground ignored calls from people they are on the ground to protect.

“They have all our contacts. My advice is that they should reach out to more than one or two persons, when such a need arises.”

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