By Wole Mosadomi
The last resort by Niger State Government to find a lasting solution to curbing banditry and fighting other crimes in the State has finally hit the rock as the dialogue initiated by the State government with some bandits have hit the rock.
The state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello who lamented over this issue at a Critical Stakeholders meeting on the State of Affairs in Minna, Niger State yesterday said many other steps have been taken by the State government to solve the insecurity in the state but also saw wisdom to dialogue with these bandits as a lasting solution but that the laudable step collapsed.
“These bandits are fearless and always ready to unleash terror on Villagers and we thought one of the best ways to solving this insecurity is to dialogue with them but unfortunately, the dialogue collapsed,” the Governor declared.
He, however, said that despite the collapse in the dialogue, the State government will take drastic measures towards giving adequate security to the people of the State in order to save their lives and property.
Bello disclosed that already, the state government has expended over N470 million to combat banditry and insecurity in the state and promised that it will not relent.
“We have spent over N470 million on combating banditry and insecurity in the State. The security situation in Niger state is becoming worrisome however, the government is determined to ensure that the insecurity is addressed and brought down to its barest minimum.
“These bandits have become more daring. We have used every opportunity to dialogue with them but those in the Pandogari axis have refused to listen to dialogue instead they have become more daring, armed and dangerous.
“They seem to remain committed to carrying out whatever activity they intend to do by unleashing terror on the people and state but are on top of the situation”, he remarked.
He said as a result of the invasion by these bandits on some Communities in the State, many people have been rendered homeless and jobless as they had to flee their ancestral homes and farms for other areas.
“With this development, the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) across the state has increased to 1000 as a result of bandit attacks and to maintain them is not easy,” he lamented.
It would be recalled that in the last two weeks, no fewer than ten Communities were overrun by bandits who invaded the Villages on Motorcycles fully armed during which the people were disposed of their cash, other valuables and their Cows, sheep goats and other domestic animals were rustled.
The Stakeholders meeting was attended by Council of Traditional Rulers led by the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, members of the National Assembly, former Ministers, Elders statement, Christian and Muslim Religious leaders top government officials among others during which they condemned all forms of banditry and other insecurity in the state.