Residents of Munya Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State have reportedly sighted dozens of stranded bandits wondering about apparently in search of food in the area.
The bandits, according to sources, were up to 30 and said to be involved in the attack that claimed the lives of four soldiers and other civilians.
In an interview with Channels Television, a resident of one of the communities alleged that the armed men were among the bandits that attacked the area on Sunday.
He said, “The bandits are armed with sophisticated guns.
“We are convinced that these strange people were earlier involved in the attack on Sunday during which some soldiers were killed. These attackers are currently stranded in communities in the area.”
The Chairman of Munya LGA, Mohammed Daza, confirmed the sighting of the bandits in his local government to journalists on Monday.
Daza who spoke through his vice, Luka Garba, appealed to the state government to beef up security of the area, adding “the villagers have since abandoned their homes for the bandits”.
Channels Television gathered that the bandits have been moving from one location to the other, looking for a safe exit from the communities as they fear that their entry route may no longer be safe for them.
The affected communities are Sohon Kabula, Luwi, Rufogo, Mudungo, Beni and Toko while the villagers have reportedly abandoned their homes.
“They are all strangers because they don’t know where to go and how to get out of the communities; that is why they want the people to show them where to follow,” another resident said.
He added, “They refused to follow all the routes that they showed them. I can tell you that they are stranded. If the security agents can move in now, they will capture them.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Niger, Mohammed Abubakar, said policemen have been deployed in the LGA to flush out the criminals from the area.