John Adams, Minna
The Niger State governor and chairman, North-Central Governor’s Forum, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has described as inhuman and unfortunate the killing of no fewer than 29 security personnel in an ambush by bandits in Galadiman Kogo in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.
Armed bandits in the early hours of Sunday ambushed a joint military, police and civil defence patrol team on their way to answer a distress call, killing 17 policemen, 12 soldiers and injured a number of others.
Governor Bello, reacting to the killing when the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police in charge of the operation, Abdulmojid Ali, accompanied by Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Zone 7, Hosea Karma, paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Minna, said that there will be no more dialogue between armed bandits and the state government.
The governor described as most embarrassing the persistent attacks by the bandits and other criminals in the state despite government efforts at tackling the security situation.
He vowed that “it is now time to take the fight to them; we can no longer wait for them to come. The issue of dialogue is now completely ruled out,” he said.
GOVT WILL NO LONGER DIALOGUE WITH BANDITS SAYS GOVERNOR SANI BELLO…FINALISES STRATEGY TO END BANDITRY
Chairman, North-Central Governors‘ Forum, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello disclose that, henceforth, there will no longer be a dialogue between Armed Bandits & govt in the state. pic.twitter.com/2SRkHespsz
— Governor Niger (@GovNiger) March 26, 2020
Governor Bello, condemning the attacks in the strongest terms, told his guest that he was deeply touched by the killings of the security agents, describing the loss of the officers at the hands of the bandits as painful and unacceptable.
Although it was alleged that the 12 soldiers and the 17 mobile policemen were killed by bandits in an ambush attack without any casualty on the part of the bandits, the governor pointed out that reports about the unfortunate attack had been unclear.
He, however, promised that the suspects who masterminded the crime would not go unpunished, as the government would do everything lawfully to bring the bandits to justice and mitigate future occurrence.
“We are working together with governors of the northwest states. Security agencies are making progress in tracking and identifying the locations of the criminals and, very soon, such locations will be verified and attacked,” the governor vowed.
Governor Sani Bello, who acknowledged the support and collaboration of the local communities in the renewed efforts to defeat the bandits in the state, expressed optimism that the recent strategies and measures taken by the governors would bring an end to the crime wave.
He commiserated with the army, police and the families of the slain officers and prayed God to grant the souls of the deceased eternal rest.
Earlier, DIG Abdulmojeed Ali, who said the police were shocked by the attack and the killings, told the governor that they were in the state to receive first-hand information on the attack on their officers which led to a colossal loss of lives.
He assured that the incident will not deter the police and other security agents from flushing out the bandits and other criminals from the state.