Bandits impose N5m per month on Niger residents: kill 2 in Plateau raid

Charles Nwoke, Minna, Nigeria
January 12, 2021

Criminals have imposed 5 million Naira monthly to some communities in Shiroro Local Government Council of Niger State to avoid being ambushed.

The fearless bandits reportedly demanded N5 million from Iburo, Gandu, Dnasa, Pyegbere, Dnasapa, Jhazhayidna, Goffan A and B, Chukuba, and Galapy communities to be spared from attacks, contrary to their habitual kidnapping for ransom.

A source in Shiroro who pleaded anonymity disclosed to newsmen that the bandits through a conciliator (name withheld), who resides in Kusasu community, had earlier met with the communities where they were informed to contribute N5 million at the end of every month if they wanted to stay in their communities without trouble.

The source narrated that the communities were able to raise 3 million Naira as contributions from individuals and sales of farm produce for the month of December, but the bandits warned them of the aftermath of not completing the payment.

“If we report, nothing will be done about it. We had severally reported some attacks to security operatives and the government, but nobody came to our rescue,” said a local, when quizzed if the matter had been reported to the police.

According to reports, residents of these villages, especially women and children, are beginning to troop out in their numbers for fear of being invaded, as the possibility of raising the N5 million by the end of the month appeared to be practically insoluble.

In another development, two young men have been reportedly shot dead by hysterical hoodlums in Riyom Council of Plateau State.

The unspeakable incident, which reportedly took place on Sunday at approximately 8:00 pm, occurred just after a few months of respite in the locality without news of an ugly incident.

It was gathered that the robbers had attacked the victims, Joseph Davou and Jerry Bitrus, who were on their way returning from a valedictory prayer for one of the pastors in Rim community, on Hoss/Rim road and shot them to death immediately.

A source in the locality revealed that the armed men, who had barricaded the road, opened fire on their victims who were riding on a motorcycle, and instantly killed them on the spot.

Other travelers reportedly scampered for their safety.

A bereaved father, Davou Dantyang, told newsmen that his 28-year-old son, Joseph, and his friend, Jerry, 32, were on their motorcycle when the gunmen shot at them.

Mr. Dantyang lamented that “What surprised me was that witnesses said a patrol vehicle belonging to Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) was on the road when the incident happened, but the operatives did not stop to attend to the situation.”

He, therefore, urged the government and security agencies to do everything within their power to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act and bring them to book.

Every attempt to contact ASP Gabriel Ogaba, the Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) to confirm the attack, proved abortive.