Bandits raid Niger community after military withdrawal, steal food, animals

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Three days after soldiers withdrew from the Allawa community in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, residents said bandits have invaded the area and stole foodstuffs and livestock.

The military, last week, closed its camp and withdrew troops from the community, which is facing attacks by bandits and terrorists.

The withdrawal of troops forced hundreds of locals, including women, the elderly and children, to leave their homes and walk at least 50 kilometers to safer locations. Reports indicate that the military also faced attacks from bandits, resulting in casualties.

A resident, Mallam Yahuza Allawa, told Daily Trust via phone yesterday that bandits entered Allawa and adjoining communities on Sunday morning and carted away foodstuffs and other valuables including goats and other domestic animals.

He said residents of Allawa, Saminaka, Gyra-Miyan, Unguwan Sarkin-Noma and Kurmi have all fled since Thursday.

He said life at the Central Primary School, Erena, where dozens of them ran to for refuge, has been very challenging for the past three days due to hunger and lack of space to sleep.

Residents said some men who returned home from the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp to retrieve food supplies reported that bandits arrived in trucks and loaded goods in the morning on Sunday.

They expressed desperation, calling on the federal and state governments for assistance.

“Yes, it is confirmed that after we left our communities on Thursday, bandits came this morning and stole our foodstuffs and other valuables including goats. We were not able to take most of our belongings along because of lack of vehicles. We had to trek from communities to Erena.

“Bandits came with a truck with which they loaded our foodstuffs and other valuables. They parked the truck at the riverside and used motorcycles to evacuate our foodstuffs, goats, and other valuables from villages because of the nature of the road.

“We are calling on the federal and state governments to come to our rescue. Life is very difficult for us, especially our women and children. We need serious intervention,” Yahuza said.


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