Father Watched Helplessly as Bandits Raped His 12-year-old Daughter — He Hasn’t Recovered

Halidu Umar, a middle-aged man who is the Chief Imam of Magami village in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, said he could not hold his tears whenever he recalls how at gunpoint, bandits defiled and raped his 12-year-old daughter.

The bandits who had imposed a multimillion naira tax on Magami did not spear the villagers from their wanton carnage whenever they invade the axis. The community, WikkiTimes learnt, had been invaded more than 15 times between 2020 and 2022, with scores of persons kidnapped and murdered.

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Residents of Magami and other adjoining villages are landlords of their homes during the daytime. At night, they retire to the forest where they are considered more safer.

THE CUT TIES

Umar told WikkiTimes the 2021 incident had separated him from his daughter who is now a displaced person in Kuta town. She was made to understand womanhood at a tender age, he believes.

What pains Umar the most is that: he was helpless while his daughter was raped in his presence.

“It was at a gunpoint,” he said. “My wives were hiding under the bed but they got one of my daughters and violated her in my presence.”

Umar said he could not bear looking straight to his daughter’s eyes and that was why he could not convince them (the daughter and his wives) when they were leaving the village.

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Asked whether his daughter was given medical attention, Umar said she was taken to a hospital in Kuta and was later brought home. She would leave the village some days after.

‘THEY SHOULD COME AND KILL ME’

The chief imam said while everyone is leaving the village to Kuta town, he would not. “They should come and kill me,” he said, adding he had seen the most horrible.

There are other people in the village who are not ready to seek refuge in the town. They spent the daytime in their houses, but in fear; and return to the bush to pass the night.

Sometimes, death awaits them at home.

On many occasions, bandits passed the night in their houses, waiting for their arrival. Although, the villagers could sight them from far and they would not return home until they leave.

Inside banditry-ravaged communities in Shiroro LGA, farming is negotiable, WikkiTimes gathered. Bandits decide what the villagers get from their farms. This is despite the tax they pay to the terrorists.

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Earlier this year, Abubakar Sani Bello, Niger State Governor during a visit to the presidential villa told President Muhammadu Buhari that not less than 300 communities in the state were ravaged by terrorists between January 1 and 19. During this period, about 220 residents were killed while 200 others were kidnapped in a series of coordinated attacks.

A month after, Ahmad Matane, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) said banditry has become well structured with a high level of communication that enables bandits to call for reinforcement when under attack. He added that it has been realised that conventional security architecture cannot protect vulnerable communities from bandits’ attacks.

He, however, clamoured for community policing, a security system many experts believe will compound insecurity in the country.

According to reports, there were victory missions against bandits in recent days, but WikkiTimes understands the terrorists are still dominating ungoverned places across the country, especially some parts of north-central, north-east and north-west.

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