June 15, 2021

Niger: Bandits kill Priest, abduct 18 in fresh strike

Bandits have increased in strength despite Government's claims of overcoming them

From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

Catholic Priest of Minna Diocese, Rev. Fr. John Gbakaan Yaji has been killed by bandits.

Gbakaan was reportedly kidnapped with his brother on Friday along Lambata-Lapai road while returning from an official meeting.

He was killed shortly later, while his brother remained in captivity, our Correspondent reports.

Efforts to get the spokesman of the State Police Command, ASP Wasiu Abiodun for comments proved abortive.

A top Reverend of the Catholic Diocese has however confirmed the incident.

About 17 people have been kidnapped within hours by bandits in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state. 

Our Correspondent gathered that the bandits stroke at different times in different locations on Saturday night.

Five people each were abducted from Wongo and Marenje communities while about seven people were abducted from Madagwa.

The Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, Sani Abubakar Yusuf Kokki confirmed the abduction saying that the whereabouts of the victims was unknown.

The abductions are disheartening and unfortunate, Sani said.

“It is unfair that we have been left to our fate,” he said. 

Kokki lamented that kidnappings and other related criminal activities have become the order of the day in the entire Rafi and Shiroro local governments areas of Niger State.

It was also learnt that last Thursday, 20 people from Duguru in Madaka Ward of Rafi local government area, Niger State who were on their way to Madaka market were kidnapped by the bandits. 

Reacting to the incidence, the Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Niger state Revd. Mathias Echioda described the abduction and killing as unfortunate and painful.

He said “these attacks are unfortunate and we should not base them as religious but we should all come together to put an end to Banditry. And I know God who answers prayers will deliver us from the hands of the wicked”.