As waves of banditry attacks disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of communities in Niger State, the Minna Emirate Council says this year’s Sallah Durbar would not hold.
A chief of the emirate, Yusuf Tanki Kuta disclosed this while speaking on Prestige FM, Minna, according to Daily Trust.
He said the emirate’s decision is to sympathise with the victims of banditry attacks around the state capital.
Kuta said the emirate had concluded its preparation for the festival before the emir, Alhaji Umar Farouk Bahago, announced the suspension.
“You would recall that some months ago bandits attacked Kaffin-Koro and adjoining communities during which people were kidnapped. As we speak, those that were kidnapped are still in captivity; they have not been rescued.
“And recently, the abductors released a video which went viral in which the world saw how those innocent people were being treated and dehumanized,” Kuta said.
He added: “So, the emir feels the pain even though people complained that the emirate council had not held Sallah durbar for years now. But as a leader with a good mind, His Royal Highness feels it won’t be good of him holding durbar when poor farmers from his domain are being held captive for months.”
Kuta added that the district heads often briefed the emir regularly on the security situation in the banditry-ravaged communities under the emirate.
Musa Adamu Maikudi, spokesman for Minna Metro Security Watch, a security outfit formed by the emir to support the conventional security agencies in the fight against security challenges, said the emir lives with the pain of how his people are being attacked regularly by bandits.
He said some abductees are still in captivity while some who were killed were among the emir’s traditional soldiers who took care of the horses used for the durbar.
“You can imagine the emir going on to hold the Sallah durbar when these people from the rural areas who are always part and parcel of his Sallah durbar are now captives while some have even been killed. It would amount to the emir celebrating on their graves. The public should understand what the emir feels,” he said.
However, some banditry-ravaged communities which are a few kilometers away from the state capital include Paikoro, Munya and Shiroro LGAs.
The latest attack was on Kaffin-Koro and adjoining communities in Paikoro LGA, where dozens of farmers abducted since March are still being held captive.
BANDITRY IN COMMUNITIES CLOSE TO THE EMIRATE
WikkiTimes gathered that some communities ravaged by gunmen are a few kilometers away from the emirate. In the past months, gun-wielding terrorists have sacked locals and kidnapped scores.
Beji, a community in Bosso local council is about 32 kilometers away from Minna, the Niger State capital.
On January, 7, about 20 suspected bandits were arrested by some volunteer groups in Beji town, in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State.
The adjoining communities in Beji, including Kampala and Barkuta, had their share of bandit attacks, which led to the loss of lives while some were also kidnapped.
Similarly, on March 9, a widow simply identified as ‘matan Boda’ and her two children were reportedly abducted by gunmen in Beji town.
WikkiTimes had earlier reported how about 50 villagers were kidnapped from the communities in Paikoro LGA when bandits raided the village on May 10. The distance between Paikoto and the emirate is 39 Km.
In late April, bandits raided several villages in the area and abducted scores of people while many others were injured.
The attacked villages included Essan, Koitapi, Wuda and Loitapi among others.
According to reports, the bandits, who operated for several hours without challenge, rustled cattle, and carted away motorcycles including other properties.
The story is not different in Munya LGA. On March 17, bandits attacked some communities in the area, killing 11 people, including a major in the Nigerian Army and three other soldiers.
Also, six local vigilante members were killed by the bandits in the area. The bandits carried out these attacks within two days.
The distance between Shiroro and Minna is about 63 kilometres, according to our findings. The local council is also a banditry hotspot.