Gunmen went haywire in Niger communities on Tuesday, January 11, 2021, killing 37 people in what could be regarded as a reprisal attack after special hunters and local vigilantes killed scores of the gunmen on Friday last week.
The latest massacre took place on Tuesday, January 11, 2021, at about 11:00am in Nakuna and Wurukuchi communities when the villagers were in the farm to harvest their farm produce.
While 10 people belonging to one family were killed on their farm, 20 bodies were discovered in the bush, all in Nakuna. Also in Wurukuchi, four members of one family were equally killed on their farm.
The entire houses in Nakuna community with about 200 population was burnt down by the gunmen who invaded the community in search of local vigilantes according to source close to the community.
Also, the gunmen who came in their numbers burnt down all the food barns in the community before leaving.
It would be recalled that special hunters and local vigilantes, at the weekend, carried out special operations in communities in Shiroro and Munya local government areas of the state where scores of the gunmen were killed while several others escaped with bullets injuries.
The gunmen however succeeded in capturing three of the special hunters and are still being held captive.
Yahaya Mota Nakuna, a 75-year-old man, whose six children and four others who came to assist them to harvest their farm produce were killed, narrated how the gunmen tied the hands of the children to their back before shooting them at close range.
Speaking through an interpreter, Mallam Yahaya said “my children were in the farm harvesting yams when the gunmen came in large numbers and demanded to know where the vigilantes that came to operate in the area were.
“I told them that we did not know any vigilantes and they asked if we see any vigilantes that passed through the village and we said we did not know. The nest thing they asked all my children to come out of the farm and matched them to the village.
“They tied their hands to the back and began to shoot them one after the other. They first of all beheaded one of them before shooting the remaining nine in my presence. After killing them, they loosed my hands and asked me to go,” he said.
Mallam Yahaya who could not hold back his tears while narrating the ugly experience, pointed out that he refused to leave as instructed by the gunmen, instead, he invited a relation from a nearby village to come and help him bury his children before leaving the village.
According to him, “only two of us dug the graves and buried their bodies. We spent over five hours digging the graves to bury them because we are just two,” he added.
Meanwhile the entire Zumba community is now flooded with Internally Displaced People, IDPs, without food and shelter as hundreds, including women and children have flee their homes.
Monday Kuryas, the state commissioner of Police, when contacted confirmed the incident, but said the police is yet to ascertain the actual number of people killed, adding that security personnel have been deployed to the affected communities to restore normalcy.