Nemesis has caught up with no fewer than 15 armed bandits in Niger State, as the boat conveying them capsized midway into the about three-hour journey, at River Shiroro, in Shiroro’s local government area of the state.
The mishap occurred on Wednesday, last week when the bandits were said to be returning from Kusasu village in Shiroro LGA and heading to their base in Wurukuchi village in Kaduna state.
The driver of the boat conveying the bandits, however, survived the mishap and escaped to safety, leaving the bandits who were later confirmed dead.
Although no member of the community was ready to comment on the incident for fear of being attacked, a close source to the community, who resides at Zumba community said that the bandits all got drowned in the water and their bodies abandoned to float away.
He said the bandits had earlier relocated to Kusasu from Allawa forests due to the ongoing search and rescue operation of the abducted Tegina Islamic school children by the over 1,000 strong Joint Security Task Force, recently inaugurated by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state.
“They were heading to their base in Wurukuchi, a village in Kaduna state, after hijacking the boat driver and asked him to take them across the river, but, fortunately, or unfortunately, the boat capsized and they all died.
“The boat driver told us that the bandits met him at the river bank doing fishing when they forced him to take them across the river. Throughout the journey, the man said he could not concentrate because of fear since he did not know what would be his fate after the journey.”
A source said the boat was carrying 15 of them when the boat mistakenly capsized and all of them drowned, adding that
“nobody could go for rescue operation because of fear. If you rescue them, you don’t know what will follow later,”
Meanwhile, a pregnant woman who was abducted along with nine others from Galape village in Shiroro local government area, since January, has been set free due to her condition.
The nine others, mostly youths, are still being held in far away Zamfara forest by the bandits, who are demanding a balance of N4 million ransom for their release after the community had earlier paid N3 million.