Gunmen on Tuesday morning and night struck in three communities in Niger and Plateau states, killing 51 residents before fleeing unchallenged.
Bodies of 34 persons killed in Niger’s Nakuna and Wurukuchi communities were found in bushes and farms.
Fourteen of them were said to be members of two different families.
Seventeen others were killed in Ancha, Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State by the gunmen who also set many houses ablaze.
The attacks occurred shortly before reports emerged that many traders were kidnapped along the Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Highway.
The attacks in Niger and Plateau were confirmed by Police Commissioner Monday Kuryas and Operation Safe Haven Commander Maj.-Gen. I. S. Ali. They did not dispute the figures.
Earlier yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a sustained military onslaught against bandits, gunmen, and terrorists across the country.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan also expressed worry over the rising security challenges, saying that Nigerians needed action and not excuses.
The Nakuna and Wurukuchi attacks on Tuesday morning were said to be reprisals by the gunmen for last week’s killing of many of their colleagues by vigilantes and hunters.
The gunmen were said to have captured and killed three of the hunters in one of the two communities.
The Nation learnt that 10 residents killed in Nakuna were members of the same family while four others were from another family in Wurukuchi.
Not giving up after the killings, the gunmen proceeded to burn down many houses and food barns in Nakuna.
Commissioner of Police Kuryas, who confirmed the killings, said policemen had been drafted to the communities.
The Nation gathered that in Ancha, Plateau State, the gunmen killed 17 residents and set ablaze many houses.
Information officer of Operation Safe Haven Ishaku Takwa, said: “In the late hours of Tuesday 11 January 2022, troops received a distress call of an attack on Ancha community.
“The troops responded swiftly and mobilised to the village. On reaching the community, the attackers had fled. Houses were destroyed and some villagers lost their lives during the attack.
“Troops are on the trail of the assailants and details of the pursuit would be made available later.”
Operation Safe Haven Commander I. S Ali, who commiserated with the families of the victims, assured that the perpetrators would be arrested.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong expressed sadness over the attack, saying it was another sad tale in the unending cycle of violence in the area.
He ordered security agencies to ensure the arrest of the attackers.
He also commiserated with the families of the victims and directed the state Emergency Management Agency and the Peace Building Agency to offer immediate humanitarian interventions.