• Bandits kidnap Village Head, his entire family in latest attack
  • Entire community deserted

From John Adams, Minna

The Niger State House of Assembly on Tuesday urged the federal government to deploy security agents to the troubled Kuchi Community in Munya Local Government Area of the state as a matter of urgency. This call comes after sustained bandit attacks over four days, culminating in the abduction of the village head, Musa Ali.

Last week, over 300 gunmen invaded the ancient railway town of Kuchi, unleashing terror on the people and kidnapping over 150 villagers during a heavy downpour. Seven people were killed, including four members of the Joint Security Taskforce stationed in the area, and several others were injured.

Villagers reported that approximately 25 bandits were neutralized by the Joint Security Taskforce before they ran out of ammunition during an attack that lasted over three hours. Despite the intensity of the attack, no help arrived.

Two days after the initial attack, on Sunday morning, the gunmen returned to the community and abducted the village head and his entire household. A source close to the community revealed that the village head was released midway through the journey to go and source ransom money for the release of his family members.

The House of Assembly, in a motion of urgent public importance brought before it by the member representing Munya State Constituency, Hon. Joseph Haruna Duza, called on the federal and state governments to deploy security agents to the community. Duza highlighted that the entire community, with over 3,000 inhabitants, has been deserted.

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He explained that the sustained attacks by the bandits have left the community in ruins, with the gunmen looting everything the people have worked for. “Shops, houses, and food barns were not spared,” he stated.

According to Duza, “150 people were kidnapped, four security personnel and three villagers were killed, and several others were injured. The entire community has been deserted, and the bandits have taken over.”

The House unanimously adopted the motion, which was seconded by the member representing Agaie Constituency, Hon. Mohammed Estugaie. They urged both the federal and state governments to immediately deploy security agents to the area to restore normalcy and enable the people to return to their homes.

The House also called on the government, through the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and the State Emergency Management Agency, to extend relief materials to the displaced people of the community.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, who presided over the sitting, asked the House to observe a one-minute silence for the souls of those killed by the bandits.

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