Buhari orders air raids, bombing of bandits in Niger, Kaduna, Zamfara forests
The recent killing of Nigerians in communities within Niger, Kaduna and Zamfara states has led to President Muhammadu Buhari taking a hard decision to bomb the bandits and criminals terrorising the areas, a presidency statement said on Sunday.
President Buhari ordered the bombing of the bandits via the airforce according to a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu.
“President Buhari has received assurances that with the harmattan dust gradually easing its hold on the skies, fighter aircraft would this week join the efforts to provide effective air attacks against bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers that have been attacking remote communities around Dogon Gona forest in Niger State.”
Buhari who described the repeated attacks leading to the losses of several lives in the communities “as a disaster for the nation,” had authorized the deployment of air power to support troops and policemen deployed to the “difficult terrain,” to counter the menace of the attackers operating in the forest area bordering Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states.
The presidency said in line with the directive, the Nigerian Air Force is setting up refueling facilities at Minna, Niger State to support the aircraft operations, giving assurances that given the improved weather conditions, a major exercise to “visually acquire targets” and launch attacks will soon follow.
The Police Command in Niger has equally given assurances that the planned dedicated air raids to complement the police helicopter gunship operations remain the best approach given the lack of motorized roads in the areas constantly under attack.
Buhari commiserated with “the government and people of Niger State following the attacks and the loss of lives that followed, and assures that victim communities in the state will not be abandoned by the rest of the country.”
Recall that the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Mohammed Sani-Musa had on Saturday disclosed that armed bandits invaded five villages of Kudodo, Galapai, Dnakpala, Makera and Dnalagwa, killing raping and abducting dozens in the Shiroro local government area of the state.
The senator, in a statement signed by his media office said the bandits who were in their numbers attacked the villages in the early hours of Saturday.
In what seemed like coordinated attacks, adjoining villages like Amale, Tunga and Adunu in Paikoro local government area of the state were not spared, “as the bandits left on their heels more deaths, destruction and abduction,” the Senatir added.
While recalling that he had earlier cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari over the spate of the killings in his constituency, the Senator said the situation in his constituency is becoming helpless, “as the bandits wreak unimaginable havoc on the people with no security succour in sight”.
Senator Sani-Musa said “my people are under siege, innocent families have been displaced, killed, raped, kidnapped and community members straddled in a state of despair.
“As the attacks continued more villagers in my constituency are awaiting their fate as no sign of succour comes their way.
“It is confirmed that the bandits are attacking all through the night to this afternoon and most communities are in grave danger.
“For months now, most local government in Niger East have been under the menacing grip of bandits with no succour in sight.
“We are again calling on Mr President and all the Service Chiefs to come to our aid without further delay as the people risk continued attacks from these ungodly killers,” the Niger East Senator bemoaned.