Bandits terrorising the North West region of the country have opened up on why they took up arms and started wreaking havoc on Nigeria.
In an interview with Daily Trust, the bandits unleashing terror in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, and Niger states said they decided to kidnap and kill Nigerians because they were neglected.
The bandits asserted that the Federal Government stopped attending to them after the death of the former Military Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
Meanwhile, armed bandits have killed 18 people and abducted many during attacks in several communities of Igabi and Chikun local government areas of Kaduna State.
The State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the latest attacks were carried out in the last 48 hours on Anaba, Barinje, Kwarten Rigasa, Kwarten Waziri and Kwarten Shaku in Igabi and Chikun local government areas.
In a statement on Wednesday, Aruwan said many houses and barns were razed in Anaba, while about 20 cows were rustled and a number of fowls slaughtered and carted away.
The Commissioner confirmed that the attacks which were launched on soft targets, where many of the villagers were kidnapped, followed the killing of several bandits via targeted air operations.
Aruwan said, Governor Nasir El-Rufai who lauded the troops for the successful extermination of the bandits, was saddened by the killings of the citizens and prayed for repose of their souls.
He said “Security agencies have reported a sequence of attacks by armed bandits on soft targets in Igabi and Chikun local government areas occurring over the last 48 hours.
“According to the reports, Anaba village in Igabi local government area was attacked, with seven residents killed, listed as Ali Musa, Isa Sharehu, Tijjani Isa, Auwalu Shehu, Hashim Abdullahi, Hassan Saidu and Umar Rilwanu.
“Many of the houses in the community were burnt down, along with storehouses and barns. About 20 cows were rustled and a number of poultry birds were slaughtered and carted away.
“Also, Barinje village in Chikun local government area was attacked, with eight persons killed, listed as: Sunday Gwamna, Lawal Jizo, Salha Barau, Sabo Barau, Umaru Barau, Muhammadu Dan Azumi, Zailani Dogara and Jikan Gambo.
“Some residents were abducted, and cattle rustled during the attack. An unspecified number of injured victims are receiving treatment in the hospital.
“The attacks on these soft targets at Anaba and Barinje villages in Igabi and Chikun LGAs respectively, followed the killing of several armed bandits via targeted air operations.
“Air platforms had earlier conducted armed reconnaissance around Anaba village. The crew observed houses on fire and locals migrating to nearby settlements. Some motorbikes were observed with suspicious movements underneath some trees; probing shots were fired at these.
“Herds of cattle were spotted with bandits at Malul Forest and were engaged accordingly.
“Also, air platforms conducted armed reconnaissance over some affected locations. Kawuri, Chikun, Godani, Kusasu, Godani Station, Kwafe, Kuduru, Irina, Chikwale, Kudame, Kwakwau, Beni, Akilbu, Polewire, Rijana, Rugu, Olam farms and adjoining areas were covered.
“Bandits in large numbers on motorcycles were sighted on a track leading to Kankomi. They were trailed and engaged by the crew, with scores seen neutralized afterward.
“Similarly, following intelligence of bandits converging at forests in between Maidaro/Damari general area of Giwa/Birnin Gwari LGAs, armed reconnaissance was conducted over the locations, in conjunction with ground troops who conducted cordon-and-search operations in the area.
“A further mission was conducted over Gagafada, Birnin Gwari LGA. No suspicious activities were observed here. The scan was extended to Gwaska, Goron Dutse, Kuyanbana, Maidaro and Sabon Birni.
“Suspicious movements were sighted at Goron Dutse, the sources of which were promptly engaged and neutralized. Also at Kuyanbana, a long convoy of motorcycles was observed heading into the forest, which was likewise vigorously engaged and neutralized.
“Regrettably, armed bandits attacked the loosely connected communities of Kwarten Rigasa, Kwarten Waziri and Kwarten Shaku in Igabi local government area.
“The bandits reportedly emerged from the Buruku area, and raided the villages in a cattle rustling operation. In the process, one Danjuma Isa from neighboring Ungwan Kanti village was killed, as he made his way on foot to Kwarten Rigasa.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai noted the reports with sadness, and sent condolences to the families of all those killed in these attacks, while offering prayers for the repose of their souls. He also wished the injured a quick recovery.
“The Governor went on to commend the crews for their vigorous response and successful missions which saw the extermination of many bandits.”