Residents of Garam, a border community between Niger State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, were gripped with fear on Wednesday as bandits invaded the village in broad daylight.
Reports obtained by Naija News revealed that the assailants rode into the village on motorcycles wielding guns, inquiring about the direction to Jere, a community in Kaduna State.
Daily Trust quoted an eyewitness to have said that the bandits, armed with AK 47 rifles, swords, and arrows, were dressed in military camouflage or combat trousers.
They lingered in the community for a considerable amount of time, causing distress among the residents.
“In broad daylight on Monday afternoon, over 100 bandits arrived in Garam on motorcycles. There were more than 40 bikes, with three bandits on each one. They openly brandished AK 47 rifles and carried arrows and swords. Fearing the unknown, most people fled for their lives,” The witness reportedly said.
Another witness confirmed the chaotic scene to journalists, noting that the development caused residents to scatter in panic upon the arrival of the bandits on their motorcycles.
“I saw people running when the bandits arrived. I also peeped where I was hiding, and I saw some of them using scarves to cover their faces while some used masks. Some of them wore combat trousers,” he said.
It was alleged that the bandits invaded the community the following day, raiding houses to kidnap people.
A witness said: “The bandits started attacking around 10:30 p.m. They started burgling shops, especially the shops where some boys were sleeping. They later entered a house close to ours, forced the gate open, broke the windows and removed the burglary, but none of the occupants slept at home.
“Since the last attack on January 2, most people have stopped sleeping at home. They come in the morning and leave at night. But after two weeks of relative peace, some people decided to return and the same day, the bandits struck.”
Another resident whose house was attacked said they were just saved by the grace of God.
“They attempted to break into our compound around 12:30 am. We didn’t even know what to do. While they continued hitting the padlock we used to lock the gate, we were motionless and okayed dead. We just kept praying silently because there was no one to help. The soldiers were nowhere to be found when they were most needed. They later left our gate before going to the Hausa settlement, where they kidnapped scores of people.
“One Nupe woman, whose husband is a driver, was kidnapped alongside her two children. But because the woman had a chronic ulcer and she had been sick for some time now, she was later abandoned. They tied the woman and the two children to the tree. It was herders that saw them in the bush that set them free and also alerted the soldiers who brought them back,” the media platform quoted the witness saying.
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