Notorious bandit leader surrenders in Niger

Gunmen in the early hours of Friday stormed Birshin Fulani, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis, and kidnapped a nursing mother of three children, Mrs Rukayyat Odedoyin.

The commander of a notorious group of bandits terrorising communities in Shiroro local government area of Niger state, Alhaji Na Mata, has reportedly surrendered and handed over three AK-47 rifles to the Joint Security Taskforce in the Iburo general area of operation.

Nesmen learnt that Alhaji Na Mata voluntarily handed over himself and turned in the weapons after suffering a devastating defeat in a recent encounter with the security task force.

A source from the Iburo community said he carried out a series of attacks in the area before the security task force began operation some days ago to clear the bandits.

The source said: “The Joint Security Task Force recorded this breakthrough at Iburo community during their operation in the area when the commander voluntarily surrendered himself and his weapons to the Joint Security Task Force.

“He decided to drop his weapons after two of his sons who were also members of his gang were killed during an encounter with the Joint Security Task Force.

“After the killing of his two children during an operation by the Joint Security Task Force, he decided to repent and surrender his weapons (about three AK 47 riffles) to the security agents.”

Alhaji Na Mata banditry group is responsible for a number of bloody attacks on communities around Shiroro and Munya local government areas.

The Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, could not be reached for comment at the time of this report.

It was however gathered that the ongoing operation by the Joint Security Task Force, comprising local hunters and vigilantes, as well as the conventional security agencies have continued to yield positive results with the killing of scores of bandits in the last month.

Iburo community was the epicentre of banditry before the task force began operations in the area.

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