Bandits on rampage in Kaduna State murdered 360 residents and abducted 1, 389 persons within a period of three months, the state government have said.
Mr. Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, attributed the deaths to banditry and communal clashes which occurred between January and March, 2022.
He gave the statistics of residents killed and abducted within the period while presenting the 2022 First Quarter Report on Security to the state governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, on Thursday in Kaduna.
Aruwan, who gave a breakdown of the 1,389 persons abducted by bandits during the period under review within Kaduna Central Senatorial District, said 169 persons were kidnapped at Birnin Gwari; 158 in Giwa; Igabi (263), Chikun (287) and Kajuru had 203 whisked away from their homes.
According to him, no fewer than 249 people were kidnapped due to banditry and other violent attacks in the Southern Kaduna Senatorial District within the same period under review.
Ten women, including six minors, were reported to have been raped by bandits within the same period, according to Aruwan.
He explained that 258 residents sustained various degrees of injury across the state due to banditry and communal clashes within the three months under review, 38 of which were women and 11 below the age of 18.
Aruwan further disclosed that 3,251 animals were rustled during the period, out of which 3,137 were stolen from Kaduna Central, accounting for 97 per cent of the total.
“Some 41 bandits were neutralized by ground forces while more than 60 were neutralized through various air strikes carried out at identified bandit camps within the state.
“Arms intercepted included 18 AK47 rifles, 7 sub-machine guns, 5 pump action rifles and ammunition which includes 22 AK47 magazines, 254 pump action cartridges, and 1,195 rounds of live ammunition,’’ he said.
The commissioner said that bandits and other criminals carried out their attacks under the influence of various substances, adding that the purchase of drugs by bandits constitutes a major component of their expenditure.
Aruwa however noted that the NDLEA, during the period, arrested several suspected drug traffickers and users, including 223 male and 8 females.
“The state government will continue to collaborate with federal security agencies and stakeholders in their operations and support respectively within the state.
“The state government further called for the establishment of a theatre to tackle terrorism and banditry in the Northwest, just like what exists in the Northeast.
“State government will continue to seek the active collaboration of citizens in its efforts against banditry and all forms of insecurity through the volunteering of useful information on suspicious activities”.
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