Armed Fulani Cattle Rearers invaded Shiroro local government area of Niger State leading to the death of three villagers and eight of the rustlers in an exchange of fire between the local vigilantes and the rustlers.
This has become a regular occurrence in recent times especially in the North Central region with Kwati, Bassa and Kaore villages in Lakpma area of the local government area all been attacked in this current week.
According to reports, the armed rustlers invaded the villages, some local vigilantes took up the challenge to repel them, leading to the exchange of fire that killed eight of the rustlers and three of the vigilantes.
Ibrahim Sule the leader of the vigilantes in Kwati village, disclosed that they had to confront the rustlers because there was no police presence in the area.The head of the vigilantes who was speaking to Senator David Umaru, representing Niger East in the National Assembly, who paid a condolence visit to the area, said that he lost three of his men while eight of the rustlers died in the process.
The senator had decried the increasing activities of cattle rustlers in parts of the state, calling on government to step up security in the affected areas in the state.
He stated, “The activities of cattle rustlers are becoming a major concern because these have increased in recent times and the cow thieves seemed to be having their way. The only organisation that is helping to rescue the villagers is what they call the
Yandaga or local vigilantes”.
“This is a sort of ragtag arrangement by the communities to protect themselves, confronting the cattle rustlers who are heavily armed with bare hands and dane guns. In the process, some of them have been killed”.
“Government has to do something because these people in the villages are helpless. They are quite vulnerable because there is no presence of police”.
“Some of these places do not even have police post. Even where there are, they are ill-equipped to handle the situation. That is why we have seen the rise in the activities of the rustlers. The people have to rally round to help themselves”.