By Ismail Auwal
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello has said that bandits in the state have killed a total of 220 residents within 17 days.
Bello disclosed this to state house correspondents on Tuesday, following a meeting with Buhari at the presidential villa.
He stated that he was in Abuja to provide the president with an update on the security situation in Niger.
He said that the victims included 165 civilians, 25 security personnel, and 30 local vigilantes.
The governor noted that the bandits move from one state to the next and that only a strong deployment of modern technology will put a stop to their activities.
He went on to say that bandit clearance operations should be handled concurrently so that they can be flushed out all at once.
“I’m very optimistic with the kind of zeal I have seen from our security agencies and all services. I’m very optimistic that the situation will be addressed. And hopefully, we should get a very peaceful state within the shortest possible time,” he said.
“We share borders with Kaduna, Zamfara, and Kebbi states, and these bandits have the habit of hibernating between forests, moving from Zamfara to Kebbi, and Kebbi to Niger.”
“They take advantage of the cattle routes which they already know. They move on motorcycles, and most of the areas and communities they attack have no access roads. So, you cannot drive there. So, our response time is slow.”
“But going forward, there will be new strategies which I earlier mentioned. It will help us. But I can’t disclose some of those strategies. But basically, the states of Kaduna, Niger, Kebbi would have to work together to address the situation.”
“What I realise is that they have been taking us on a merry-go-round. When we deal with them in Niger, they move to Kaduna. When Kaduna deals with them, they move to Katsina. They have been hibernating in the forest. Some of these operations need to be handled simultaneously so that we get the result, ” he said.
“We are not happy and we are sad with the developments in these states. We are doing whatever we can, using kinetic and non-kinetic efforts to see that we address the present situation.”