380 killed in 71 bandits’ attacks in Niger — Agency

The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) has said that no fewer than about 380 people were killed and 71 others abducted in Niger State between 2015 and 2021.

The record also revealed that an amount not less than N79 million has been paid as ransom to bandits in the state in the same period.

This was handed down by the North-Central coordinator of the centre, Maj. Gen. Hassan Ibrahim Bature (retd) at a sensitisation Programme for the newly posted National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), members to the State at the NYSC’s permanent orientation camp in Paiko, the headquarters of Paikoro LGA of the state.

The Co-ordinator,  represented by the Assistant Director, Intelligence, Lt. Col. DV Gimba, also noted that out of the 25 local government areas of the State, 18 have been attacked by bandits since 2015 with Shiroro, Munya, Rafi, Mashegu, and recently, Lapai local government areas as the worst hit (invaded) and overrun by bandits.

He stated further that  380 people were killed and 71 others were abducted even as farmer-herder conflicts occurred 71 times, accounting for several injuries and deaths in the north-central zone.

“Insecurity persists in Nigeria because there are many illicit weapons in the hands of people. However, there’s a need to stop the spread and restore peace and development” he said

He said the North-Central geopolitical zone remained a hotbed for farmer-herder conflicts with 58 per cent occurrences and 61 per cent casualties adding that the security threats were directly linked to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

In the United Nations (UN) report, he noted that   Nigeria accounted for 350 million or 70 per cent of an estimated 500 million illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons circulating in West Africa.

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