Following the incessant destruction of communities in Niger state by bandits, a -70-year- old woman has led hunters into a battle with the criminals, leading to the killing of over 40 bandits in the outing.
Niger state has now become a hotbed for the banditary crisis with most of them leaving Zamfara, Katsina and some part of Kaduna State to Niger communities.
Several Niger communities have been ransacked by the bandits with many people killed.
But over 40 bandits were said to have been killed on Sunday in an operation carried out by local hunters, led by a 70-year-old female spiritualist in Zuguruma, Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State.
The battle which was taken to the bandits corridor was said to have lasted just for 30 minutes.
Villagers say previous operations by the military, police and other security agencies against the bandits in Niger State were unsuccessful in the past except for the raid launched by the hunters.
Eyewitnesses described the encoughter between the bandits and the local hunters as mysterious adding that the security agencies should have capitalised on the used of the hunters against the killer bandits long before now.
A resident said the Niger state government had to go spiritual with the engagement of spiritualists and local hunters to fight the bandits who now control some local government areas in the state.
The breakthrough in the fight against bandits came after the state government declared a state-wide prayer in mosque and churches against the bandits.
The andits struck in Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger state few days after the prayer was organized, killing a woman and her daughter and abducted many.
Meanwhile, after the attack, a commander of the bandits and three others, were arrested and handed over to the state police command after they went to town to buy recharge cards and other needs for the group,
They are currently under investigations, it was gatbered.
But the female spiritualist who took the fight to the bandits’ den, before leading the operation, had to prepare.
She was said to have requested for some items, including a live dog whose blood was sprinkled on all the hunters before embarking on the operation.
Two virgin boys led the way into the bandits’ den, it was gathered.
The woman, it was learnt, striped herself in a tent while preparing a sacrifice before the battle.
A villager, Mallam Alhassan said: “On approaching 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.”
According him, the strategy paid off as the bandits on hearing the sound of the gunshots, began to shoot towards the direction of the hunters without a target.
“The bandits continued to shoot sporadically without aiming at any target until they ran out of bullets. That was when the hunters descended on them, killing 40,” Alhassan said.
It was gathered that a leader of the bandits who ran for safety on a a tree, was brought down with just a wave of a hand.
“No single casualty was recorded on the side of the hunters who had volunteered to help the government eliminate all forms of banditry from the state within one month. All the weapons of the bandits, including machine guns, anti-aircraft guns, rocket launchers, among others, were recovered and handed over to the police,” he said.
The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Othman Umar, when contacted, said 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, of where the incident occurred.”
Source: New Telegraph