Niger govt restrategises against banditry

By Ummi Ismaeel,
Minna
Niger State government has admitted that nine previous security strategies so far adopted by the administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello in its quest to fight bandits in the last one year failed to achieve desired results.
It has therefore decided to float a new tactics to safeguard lives and properties of Nigerlites.

The State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Idris, disclosed this while briefing journalists, Thursday on the incessant attacks by bandits on some villages in Niger-East senatorial district in the past one year.

Mohammed Sani said that the state government was worried by the wanton destruction of lives and properties by armed bandit that have killed many citizens and destroyed their properties.

According to the commissioner, “The truth is that the state government is worried on the impact of banditry on the socio-economic and more importantly the agricultural sector of the state as this year's cropping season begins in earnest”.

The Governor Abubakar Sani Bello-led administration has initiated nine different high profile security strategies with different code names, adding however that, ‘none of these strategies has achieved the desired results’.

“In view of what is happening now, the government has decided to keep its nest security strategy close to its chest because we have discovered that there are so many moles even within government circles”.

Alhaji Mohammed Idris said that the government has carefully studied why previous attempts failed before coming out with the new strategy which is incorporating local vigilantes and community centres to curb the unending bloodletting in the state.

According to him, “This government is committed towards ensuring that law-abiding Nigerlites feel safe in their homes and going about their legitimate businesses and living peacefully with one another anywhere they found themselves”.
It was however gathered that between January and April, 2020 alone, a total of 58 persons lost their lives to bandits’ attacks in four local government areas of the state namely; Munya, Rafi, Shiroro and Magama.

About seventy persons were also kidnapped by the rampaging bandits within the period under review while, a ransom of over N40 million was paid by relatives of the abducted people to secure their freedom from the armed bandits.
Among the 58 persons that lost their lives to armed banditry in the state included; 18 soldiers, 17 mobile police officers while 23 of the victims are members of respective villages from the four local government areas.

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