John Adams , Minna
The Niger State governor and chairman of North Central Governors Forum, (NCGF) Abubakar Sani Bello,and Sani Musa, representing Niger East Senatorial District, have hailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive authorising airstrike on bandits terrorising some communities in the state.
Governor Bello, and Senator Sani, in their separate statements in Minna yesterday ,described the president’s swift response as a great relief to the people.
In a statement issued on behalf of the governor by Chief Press Secretary, Mrs. Mary Noel Berje, Bello stated:“For the umpteenth time, President Buhari has demonstrated that Niger State is so dear to his heart and this administration will collaborate with him to ensure that the menace of banditry, kidnappings and cattle rustling is brought to a conclusive end in all parts of the state .”
According to Bello:”The State is vulnerable to attacks from the bandits, because of its vast landmass and proximity to forest area bordering Kaduna, Niger, and Zamfara States.”
He, however ,assured Buhari that with the efforts of the Federal Government (FG), and the security agencies, his administration would also explore other options, like dialogue and economic empowerment, which will create peace in the state. “Agriculture has been prioritised, because of its capacity to engage youths in meaningful venture which will take them off crimes,” he said.
“This initiative has led to the establishment of the grazing reserves and their value chains around the states. This will create employment and improve the economy for optimal performance”.
“Also in his statement, Musa commended the President for listening to the yearnings of his people”
“This will no doubt bring a great relief to the people of the constituency .The president’s directive could not have come at a better time than now. I am happy, and the people of Niger East senatorial district are glad that the President has finally come to our aid. I am optimistic that in no distant time we will begin to see improvement in the security situation in the state, particularly in Niger East where the attackers have been operating.”
He appealed to the people in his constituency for maximum cooperation with security officers to enable them carry out their tasks effectively, especially in providing vital information that would enhance security operations.
Meanwhile , Bello said that the fight against armed bandits has been made difficult by informants who usually give information to the banditsHe made the revelation while briefing newsmen in Minna yesterday ,saying that informants were jeopardising the efforts of security agents in the fight against banditry in the state. “We have people among us who give information to the bandits about the plans by government to dislodge them from their hideouts; even in this Government House Conference Hall. I mean even among us here, we have people giving information to the bandits” he said.
The security situation in some communities across four local government areas of the state has deteriorated in the last one month following invasion by armed bandits, and the governor said this has forced the people to abandon their homes.
According to Bello, “the moles use the social media to pass information on the plans by the government and security agencies. The plan to employ the services of vigilantes to assist the police, soldiers ,and deploy aircrafts to dislodge the bandits was posted on the social media even before the plan was executed.
He regretted that the informants only succeeded in exposing the communities to more danger by their actions which would make the fight difficult because the bandits must have gone underground.
He said:”The bandits are so sophisticated and have informants everywhere, they move from place to place depending on the information they get”.
Bello also said that some of the moles were using the crisis for political gains. He named Shiroro, Paikoro, Munya, Rafi, Mariga and Mashegu, as the areas where insurgents have been holding sway, while other areas are peaceful.
“Now we will re-strategize to ensure we make life worth a living for our people. The time has come for us to come together and support our security forces in the fight against insurgency. If we want to tackle this issue successfully, all hands must be on the deck”,he said .
He promised that the Internally Displaced People (IDP) will be supported to ensure they live normal lives and return to their communities as soon as possible. The governor said his administration will support the Community Policing policy of the Inspector General of Police because it is one of the best ways to curb crime and criminality. He applauded the Federal Government(FG), for intervening in the problem and assured that his administration would give the needed support to the security personnel deployed to ensure they succeed.