As Niger State witnesses upsurge in the influx of bandits and attacks in more local government areas, the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has called for simultaneous onslaught against them.
LEADERSHIP observed that the bandits’ attacks that were only in Rafi, Shiroro, Munya, and Mariga in the past have extended to Mashegu, Wushishi, Magama, parts of Borgu and Rijau local government areas.
It was learnt that the recent increase in bandits’ attacks was as a result of the ongoing fight against banditry in Zamfara, Kaduna and Kastina states.
Security sources hinted that “the bandits moving southward find Niger State as a good ground to escape the onslaught in these states while some are moving northward to Sokoto, so the fight must also be on vigorously in Niger and Sokoto states to properly demystify them.”
In view of this, Niger State governor Abubakar Sani Bello said the recent successes recorded by the military in its air and ground strikes against the bandits in some communities of Kaduna, Zamfara and Katsina states should be extended to neighbouring Niger State.
While expressing regret over the recent killing of 18 people and the kidnap of some community members at Mazakuka and Kaboji in Mashegu local government area, as well as the kidnap of 30 travellers at Garun Gabas in Rafi local government area of the state, Governor Sani Bello noted that the bandits can be eliminated completely, and in a short time, if the assault on them is carried out simultaneously.
The governor attributed the influx of bandits to Niger State to the military offensive in Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina states, noting that when the bandits are overpowered by the military might in a particular state, they move to another.
According to him, “The bandits run to other states once they feel the pressure of the military. Look at what happened to us in Niger recently, they invaded Shiroro, Munya and Rafi upon being overpowered in Kaduna. Similarly, they invaded, killed and kidnapped many in Sokoto communities.”
He said there is an existing joint security collaboration amongst the affected states stressing that the governors are already talking with the military chiefs on how to carry out simultaneous military operations against the miscreants.
The governor also stated that he is sustaining his weekly meetings with the heads of security agencies in the state to review their strategy on how to curtail the criminal activities of the bandits.
Sanni Bello added, “We must checkmate this new trend, we are talking with the military about it and they are already doing an urgent strategic overview of the situation in order to incorporate a plan in the sustained battle against the bandits. We also urge the affected communities in the state to assist the military with intelligence for effective and successful operations.”