January 27, 2023

How gunmen killed Pastor, kidnapped 19 in Niger

Bandits are believed to have killed hundreds of people in Niger this year

From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

No fewer than nineteen persons were Sunday kidnapped by gunmen in Ogu and Tegina communities in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

Ogu is a settlement close to Wayam, about two kilometres away from Kagara headquarters of Rafi Local Government headquarters.

Locals say the Gunmen stormed the village in the morning, shooting sporadically.

According to a local, the gunmen in large number arrived Ogu on motorcycles. “Before we knew what was happening, they started shooting into the air. They ransacked people’s houses, and whatever valuable they could lay their hands on, they carted away. They also abducted six persons from Ogu,” said our source.

The attack on Tegina was said to have occured earlier at about 12:30am on the same Sunday.

A resident of the community, Sani Gamachindo said thirteen persons were abducted.

“The gunmen entered the room of my daughter that night. But, she hid herself under the bed, while her husband went into the ceiling. When the gunmen entered their room, they spent like thirty minutes and ate almost all the food in the kitchen. Thank God, they were not abducted. But, thirteen persons were kidnapped,” Gamachindo explained.

The latest attacks in Rafi local government came barely four days after gunmen abducted a youth leader of the All Progressives Congress, the District Head of Gunna and two children of two health workers in Garin Gabbas and Yakila communities in the same local government.

Last week Friday, the bandits blocked the major road between Zungeru and Tegina for hours, shooting sporadically and causing gridlock.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer to the Niger State Police Command, ASP Wasiu Abiodun said he would get back to our reporter on the matter, but was yet to do so as at the time of filing the report.

Meanwhile, a Pastor with the Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA, has been killed by gunmen in Chukuba, Shiroro local government area of the state.

Jeremiah Ibrahim, the Pastor of ECWA Gospel Kubwa, Kuta in Shiroro was killed on his way from the farm, it was learnt.

“It’s quite unfortunate, because the assassination of Pastor Jeremiah Ibrahim is coming barely two weeks after six of our missionaries of alongside wife to one of them were abducted,” said a Church Official.