Despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the Air Force to provide aerial shield for vulnerable communities in Niger State, the bandits and have struck again.
Scores of them, armed and riding motorbikes attacked Gurmana, old Gurmana, and Ashirika communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, in central Nigeria on Saturday.
Reports said the bandits double as members of the Islamic State of West Africa.
The armed men stormed the communities at about 10:00 am on Saturday, with some on feet and shot sporadically into the air, Channels TV reported.
Witnesses said the attack started in Gurmana where they reportedly killed two persons and injured four others before moving to old Gurmana where they rustled more than 200 cows.
The Senator representing Niger East, Sani Musa confirmed he had received reports of the attacks.
President Muhammadu Buhari on 27 January ordered the Air Force to bombard camps where the bandits and terrorists are hibernating.
It appears the measure is not working.
According to the directive, Buhari ordered the Nigerian Air Force to deploy its fighter aircraft to check the attacks by the bandits-terrorists attacking Niger state communities.
President Buhari described the repeated attacks which led to loss of several lives in the affected communities “as a disaster for the nation”.
In line with this directive, according to the presidential aide, the Nigerian Air Force is setting up refuelling facilities at Minna, Niger state, to support the air operations.
Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said: ”President Buhari has received assurances that with the harmattan dust gradually easing its hold on the skies, fighter aircraft would this week join the efforts to provide effective air attacks against bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers that have been attacking remote communities around Dogon Gona forest in Niger State.”
He added that the Police Command in Niger had equally given assurances that ”the planned dedicated air raids to complement the police helicopter gunship operations remain the best approach given the lack of motorized roads in the areas constantly under attack”.