Despite several efforts in the past months, it seemed like the operations with the combined efforts of the military, Police and other security agencies against banditry in Niger State have been unsuccessful.
According to a witness, the state government had to go with the engagement of spiritualists and local hunters to fight the bandits who had surrounded some local government areas in the state.
This breakthrough, against bandits occured a week after the state government declared a state-wide prayer in mosque and churches against men of the underworld, who have made lives unbearable for the people.
Two days after the prayers, Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area, was struck by bandits, a woman and her daughter was killed and kidnapping scores.
A commander of the bandits and three others, who were said to have gone to town to buy recharge cards and other basic needs for the group, were later arrested and handed over to the state police command. They are currently under investigations.
Before leading the operation, the female spiritualist, requested for some things, including a live dog whose blood was sprinkled on all the hunters before embarking on the operation. while Two virgin boys led the way into the bandits’ den.
She was said to have stripped herself in a tent while preparing the sacrifice. One of the villagers, Mallam Alhassan, who narrated in Hausa how the operation went, said:
“On getting to the location of the bandits, the woman instructed that the hunters should shoot into the air to provoke the bandits so as to lure them out from their hideouts.”
This strategy, according to him, paid off, as the bandits on hearing the sound of the gunshots, began to shoot towards the direction of the hunters but could not see anyone.
The villager added:
It was gathered that while the operation was ongoing, the leader of the bandits scampered to hide on top of a tree. One of the bandits ran towards him, calling his attention to the invasion by the hunters, the woman ordered the hunters to immediately go after him. He was brought down with just a wave of the hand.
The source added:
When contacted, the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Othman Umar, said that he was making efforts to reach the Division Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the community where the incident occurred.
Umar said, “I will get back to you as soon as I get the Divisional Police Officer, where the incident occurred.”
As at the time of filling this report, no feedback was received from the police.