The Nigerian Senate has urged the military and security agencies in the country to closely monitor and block escape routes used by fleeing terrorists to forestall their relocation to safe havens in other parts of Niger State and the country at large.
The upper legislative arm of government also called on the National Emergency Management Agency to provide food and other livelihood support amenities to affected villages and those internally displaced in Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora and Borgu local government areas under Niger North Senatorial District.
Deputy Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, bemoaned the disturbing trend of renewed kidnappings and banditry in communities across Niger State.
He said, “Following the massive onslaught against criminal elements and bandits operating in Eastern parts of Sokoto and Zamfara states, there was massive movement of these escaping bandits and their criminal elements into Niger State and specifically into Mariga Local Government Area.
“Currently, villagers have moved out of Maundu, Alabani, Sappaji in Berri Ward; over 20 villages are now empty in Galma/Wamba Ward and scanty residents in Ukuru, Igoma, Maruba and Ruka villages in Bobbi Ward.
“Communities that border Kaduna, Zamfara and Kebbi states located in Mariga LGA namely Galma, Makici, Makogi Na Maforo, Nassarawa, and Kwanan Duci are constantly being attacked by bandits and over 15 persons killed in Bobbi Ward of Mariga LGA.
“Some notorious bandits in their numbers operated for hours in five villages on Friday, 14 January 2022, where several cattle were rustled as villagers fled their homes.
“The bandits first attacked Tungan-Ruá Village in the morning, later moved to Tungan Maje and also rustled cattle.
“The same day they attacked Kawo Mashegu where two people were killed, four persons abducted and proceeded to attack Tungan Magaji Village where several cattle were also taken away.
“After several operations 17 persons were abducted including two persons delivering ransom. The same day Farin Shinge village a few kilometres' away from Kontagora town was also attacked and two persons kidnapped.
“Many villagers are now IDPS in places like Bangi, Mangoro and other safer locations with no food or amenities for their livelihoods.
“President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the nation's armed forces for a major military operation in Niger State which has faced continued attacks on its communities by bandits and remnants of Boko Haram terrorists fleeing theatres of war in the North-Western and North-Eastern parts of the country;
“Strongly suggest that the operations should be comprehensive enough to close the various paths that give the bandits and fleeing terrorists access to safe havens in various parts of Niger State.”