From John Adams, Minna
Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has expressed concerns over the response by security agents to the growing security challenges in the state, saying it appears that the people have been left to their fate.
The governor made his concerns known on Monday when a group of fish sellers at Zungeru bridge in Wushishi told him that since incidents of kidnapping started in the area, no security agent has taken any action nor come for any investigation on how these attacks occurred.
‘If no security agent has come here to get first-hand information on these attacks, then where are they getting their security reports from. That means I am being fed with fake security reports,’ the governor lamented.
The governor, in his usual manner of interacting with the people while travelling, had made a brief stop at the Zungeru fish market along Minna-Tegina road where the bandits have found a safe haven for their kidnapping activities and wanted to know from the people directly affected what was responsible for the recent rise in kidnapping in the area.
One of the fish sellers who identified himself as Adamu, speaking in Hausa, pointed to a direction and told the governor: ‘This is the route the bandits usually follow to attacks us. They come through this route and go back through this same route. They have no other route, this is the only route.’
It was at this point that the governor asked the people if they had reported this to the security agents in the area to enable them to take action.
The governor was shocked to learn that no security agent had come to conduct any investigation since incidents of kidnappings started in the area.
Zungeru-Tegina road has become the most dangerous road in the last month, with over 80 people abducted on the road, including the 42 passengers of the state government-owned transport authority.
The governor, furious over this revelation from the villagers, turned around and asked his Special Adviser on Security, Brig-Gen Iman (retd), who was in the governor’s entourage, if he was aware that no security agent had visited the area despite a series of bandit attacks as alleged by the people.
The security adviser told the governor that the use of sophisticated weapons by the bandits was responsible for the inability of security agents to go after them.
He also admitted that as a security adviser he had not visited the scenes of bandit attacks in the state, not giving a reason for his inaction.
‘So, where have you been getting your security reports from?,’ the governor, displeased about this revelation, asked his security adviser. ‘Or you just sat down in one place and write security reports?’
‘What this means is that the people have been left alone, they have bing left to their fate. I am highly disappointed about what I am hearing today,’ he said.
Governor Bello immediately cut short his interaction with the villagers, angrily entered his car and zoomed off.