We are still waiting for the version of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force on the gun duel that took place last night between the Nigerien Police and bandits around Dan-Arau along Katsina-Jibia highway.
Of all the Nigerian roads I know, Katsina-Jibia highway is the most guarded. Even before the border closure there were 17 checkpoints along the 42 kilometer road.
With the closure of the border, more check points have been added. It is thus a serious blow on the Federal Republic of Nigeria if any security breach along that road will go untackled.
The news broke in the very early hours of Thursday, January 30, 2020 that some bandits crossed over to Niger Republic and rustled cattle. The routes taken by the bandits from their hideouts in the forest to enter Niger Republic are now well known to the locals.
The criminals were trailed by the Nigerien gendarmes to that area and fire exchange took place.
As at this morning, a burnt vehicle belonging to the Police of Niger Republic was visible at the scene.
The story going round is that the Nigerien Police were left on their own to engage the bandits on the Nigerian territory without any support from the Nigerian security forces. Is that correct?
It would be recalled that three weeks ago, on Tuesday, January 14, bandits arrived the house of one Alhaji Abdulmalik in Daddara village along the highway. When he saw them jumping over his wall, he also jumped out and ran to a nearby police checkpoint.
The police allegedly did not come to his rescue and by the time he came back to his house, his wife had already been taken away by the criminals.
There were other similar cases of crime along this highway known for extortion of travelers by security operatives. What makes this one different is the level of fire exchange that was said to last for long, a thing that terrorized civilians in the nearby villages.
By Abdussamad Umar Jibia