Bandits’ attacks on Garam, a community in Niger State have continued unabated forcing residents to abandon their homes.

Garam, which shares a boundary with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has been under severe attacks from the bandits since December 24, 2023.

Recall that on Saturday, December 24, bandits invaded Garam community, which is a five-minute drive from Bwari, killing a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God while kidnapping 13 other persons.

On Thursday, December 28, bandits again invaded Kuduru, in FCT, kidnapping 18 persons.

Similarly, on Friday, December 29, bandits invaded Azu, killing three people and kidnapping eight others.

However, following the ceaseless attacks, residents of the community decided against observing crossover service on December 31st.

A resident of the community who pleaded anonymity said most churches in the area observed the crossover service between 5pm and 8pm while a handful of churches with adequate security observed the crossover service between 10 pm and 4am.

The source added that the bandits returned on January 2, 2024, kidnapping a whole family, adding that the soldiers stationed in Azu, a neighbouring community, only arrived after the bandits had left.

The resident said: “Due to the fear of bandits, most churches did not observe crossover service on December 31st. Some churches observe the service between 5pm and 8pm. It was only MFM that observed the service from 11pm till 4am.

“Though soldiers patrol the community during the day, it has not stopped bandits from attacking the people at night.

“On January 2, an Igala man was attacked and the bandits kidnapped his whole family. They came with their tools to force the gate of the house open. They operated for 2 to 3 hours. The sound of their gun forced the vigilante to flee. The soldiers arrived after they had left.”

Another resident said people are moving out of Garam in droves while those who built houses there have sought refuge in other places.

He said the sprawling community is now being deserted as the military appears to have run out of ideas to tame the bandits.

The source added that it appears the bandits are targeting those with cars who can easily muster ransom payments if kidnapped.

Residents of Niger community abandon homes as bandits attacks continue

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