From John Adams, Minna
A gun duel which lasted more than one hour, on Monday night, between troops and bandits in some communities in Magama Local Government Area of Niger State, left three soldiers and scores of the bandits dead.
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, who confirmed the deaths to newsmen, in Minna, yesterday, at an expanded emergency security meeting, at Government House Minna, described the latest onslaught against the military by bandits as unfortunate.
He, however, said that the bandits were being trailed by the Army and assured that they will be arrested soonest.
Governor Bello disclosed that despite the banditry activities in the state, peace is gradually returning to some of the Communities recently sacked by the bandits.
He said: “No fewer than 50 communities have been resettled back in the villages. They were led back to their villages by the soldiers.
“Now that the rain has started, the people who are predominantly farmers will go back to their farms and start planting.”
He pointed further that “all the affected communities in the three local government areas of Shiroro, Munya and Rafi mostly affected are major agricultural communities and with the security cover by the military, farming will commence in earnest and the fear of food shortage next year is being allayed.”
In another development, the governor said the security agencies have been put on red alert to deal with youth restiveness that has engulfed Minna, the state capital, in the past one week during which many innocent people have been seriously wounded.
Some youths from different communities in Minna, the state capital, had been on each other’s throats for the past one week, using dangerous weapons like matchets, daggers and knives, among others.
The security meeting was attended by the state Commissioner of Police, the Army, the Nigeria Civil Defence, DSS and other relevant stake holders.