Bandits and Boko Haram elements have killed 11 vigilantes in Shiroro, Munya and Rafi local government areas of Niger state in a series of attacks within two weeks, the leaders of the communities have cried out.
The elders under the auspices of the Gbagyi Elders Forum disclosed this Friday in Minna at a press briefing.
The Forum’s spokesman, Pius Wakili, said the communities had to send a Save Our Soul (SoS) message to the federal and Niger state governments because they were no longer safe in the area due to the activities of bandits and insurgents in the past few days.
He said, “The Gbagyi Elders Forum in Niger state is seriously concerned over the increasing rate of recent killings perpetrated by the bandits and kidnappers in Shiroro, Munya and Rafi local government communities in the state.
“If nothing is done to put a halt to the wanting destruction of lives, there would be food insecurity.”
Wakili, however, applauded the “doggedness and patriotism exhibited by the vigilantes and other security agencies in curtailing the series of attacks on Zazzaga and Kachala communities leading to killing of 11 vigilantes.”
He charged security agencies to redouble their efforts in combating the menace in those communities, stressing that “it is time for harvest of farm produce and if nothing is done to assist these communities it would be disastrous.”
“We elders appeal to both federal and Niger state governments to urgently impress on the security agencies to put a halt to the menace by deploying more security personnel to the affected areas to ensure peace.”
On his part, the Niger state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, said he would continue to seek ways to end insecurity in some parts of the state.
The governor stated this while he was at the office of the Commander General (CG) of the Nigeria Security and the Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, in Abuja to synergise in key areas towards ensuring the security of citizens.
Governor Sani Bello, while expressing concerns over the method used in carrying out their activities, noted that the level of insecurity in the country “is alarming and needs all hands to be on deck to address the situation.”