The Niger State chapter of Coalition of Public Interest Groups (CPIG), on Tuesday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security outfits to stop incessant attacks by suspected bandits on some communities in the state.
Mr Mohammed Etsu, the state Coordinator of CPIG, made the call during a press conference in Minna.
“We have lost more than 500 persons to the bandits since the attacks started a few years ago.
“Our people have also paid up to N200 million as ransom to the bandits,” he said.
Etsu said that 10 out of the 25 local government areas in the state were under the siege of the suspected bandits.
He listed the areas to include Shiroro, Rafi, Munya, Tafa, Paikoro, Gurara Mariga, Mashegu, Lapai and Borgu local government areas in the state.
Etsu said that the activities of the bandits who kidnapped, killed, raped and abducted the people of the areas had overwhelmed the state government.
He noted that the rampaging bandits had yet to be given serious challenge by the security agencies.
“The President, as the Commander-in-Chief must give special attention to the insecurity in Niger State.
“The state is the largest in land mass across the country and also its proximity to the seat of power calls for concern,” Etsu said.
He called on the people of the state to wear black clothes on Feb. 17 to show their displeasure with the lives and properties lost to the suspected bandits.
“As we speak now, bandits are having field day in our communities.
“They attack at will, without any form of resistance from security forces,” Etsu said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buhari had recently ordered aerial attacks on the hideouts harbouring the suspected bandits, but nothing has been done by the security forces in that regard.
Also the state government recently donated 120 motorcycles and 12 Toyota and Nissan Pickup vans to the vigilantes in the affected areas to enable them help the security agencies in stamping out insecurity.