Faced with a worsening security situation, the Niger State government has beefed up security around its key officials and communities where bandits frequently attack.
In Suleja, a border community with Abuja, security agents and local vigilantes have intensified vehicular checks.
Their presence is visible in communities along the Kaduna-Abuja Road, especially Sabon Wuse, Zuba, as well as Suleja to Minna.
In Minna, more security coverage, especially for commissioners, have increased with deployment of security details to watch over their houses.
The secretary to the state government (SSG), Ahmed Matane, could not be reached for comments as other officials kept mum.
Meanwhile, there are conflicting positions over the actual ransom demanded by abductors of the state commissioner for information, Mohammed Sani Idris.
While government sources hinted that the abductors have not made any contact for ransom, it was also learnt that they have reduced the ransom from N500 million to N180 million.
A government source that preferred anonymity, told LEADERSHIP Friday that, “We don’t know where the issue of ransom is coming from, but as a government, they have not contacted us for ransom.”
Another source from Baban Tunga however said, “they have reduced the ransom to N180 million this afternoon (yesterday), the chairman of Tafa and the speaker, Abdullahi Bawa Wuse, a political associate of the commissioner, are now in Minna to find a way out.”
It was learnt that the government was trying to downplay the issue of ransom because, “they have been averse to payment of ransom and should not be viewed as if they are shifting position now that it involves a commissioner.