BANDITRY 2By Uthman Siraja

At least, 50 passengers were kidnapped by bandits along the Tegina-Minna road in Rafi Local government Area of Niger State, on Tuesday.

According to a source in the area, the bandits blocked the road at Kundu town, a few kilometres from Zungeru town, when the three commercial vehicles loaded with passengers, ran into them.

The passengers were reportedly abducted while the vehicles were left by the roadside.

The armed bandits numbering over 65, Tuesday, at about 6.15 pm took the travelers by surprise when they took over the highway wielding their sophisticated weapons threatening to shoot the buses in which the passengers were traveling in.

The passengers, it was gathered were returning from Kagara after the jana’iza (burial) rite of the Emir of Kagara, Alhaji Salihu Tanko.

Some of the armed bandits were said to have appeared in Army Camouflage uniform and were fully armed with Ak47 and other assorted weapons that were used freely without any help coming from security agents.

Throughout the operation which lasted for close to two hours, the armed bandits forced the passengers out of the buses and took over fifty of the passengers to the bush.

The bandits, it was gathered stormed the same road where the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) bus passengers were abducted late last month.

Some parts of Niger State have been under siege of the activities of deadly armed bandits attacks in the last two years as not fewer than 25 communities with two senatorial areas of Niger North and Niger east so far been displaced.

Already a total of 3,750 persons mostly locals are currently in internal displaced persons (IDP’s) camps spread across four local government areas of Munya, Shiroro, Paikoro and Rafi local government areas of the state.

As a result of the deadly operational activities of these bandits, local farmers in the affected communities are no longer going to their farms for fear of been attacked by the armed bandits.

The activities of armed bandits has been on the increase in the state within the last three months as no week had passed without one reported case of banditry attack on one community or the other.

A total of 53 students of Government Science College Kagara 27 passengers of the Niger State Transport company were evacuated by a gang of armed bandits who were said to have kitted in military camouflage uniforms.

The passengers and the students were separately rescued by the Niger State government after series of meditations.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello had consistently told Journalists that his administration will not pay ransom to the bandits for the release of any of their victims.