Nineteen persons have been reportedly 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.
A source from Rafi Local Government who did not want his identity revealed confirmed the incident on Monday.
He however could not give many details on the attacks and had to place telephone call to a resident in the affected community for more information.
A source identified as Kamal Mamman Wayam from Ogu community, said the gunmen stormed Ogu on Sunday morning and started shooting into the air.
According to Wayam, “The gunmen in their large numbers arrived Ogu on motorcycles. Before we knew what was happening, they started shooting into the air.
“They ransacked peoples’ houses, and whatever valuable they could lay their hands on, they carted away. They also abducted six persons from Ogu. Four of the persons abducted were members of one day, while the other two were visitors to the community.”
The attack on Tegina was said to have happened at about 12:30 midnight of Monday.
A resident of the community, Sani Gamachindo whose phone conversation with our source was recorded 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 up 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 had also 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.
The clergyman identified as Pastor Jeremiah Ibrahim, was serving with ECWA Gospel Kubwa, Kuta in Shiroro local government.
According to a senior official of ECWA Goodnews Church Minna who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said Pastor Ibrahim had gone to check his farm in Chukuba and decided to visit a colleague who was the Resident Pastor of Chukuba when he was attacked and killed.
“It’s quite unfortunate, because the assassination of Pastor Jeremiah Ibrahim is coming barely two weeks after six of our missionaries alongside wife to one of them were abducted,” he added.
He said, the deceased had been buried.