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Niger Govt. sets up joint taskforce against kidnapping, banditry, other crimes

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

In a bid to stem the insecurity tide in Niger, the State Government has inaugurated a joint Taskforce against kidnapping, banditry, and other forms of criminalities across the state.

The taskforce includes personnel from the Nigerian Military and members of the vigilantes to tackle security challenges particularly in Minna, the state capital.

This came days after bandits attacked Government Science College, Kangara, killed one student, and abducted over 30 persons including teachers and their family members.

Announcing the joint taskforce, Chairman Chanchaga Local Government Council, Ibrahim Abubakar, requested the state government to equip the vigilantes to aid their performance in stemming the crime tides.

Abubakar, who is also the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) Chairman, disclosed the joint taskforce inauguration during a courtesy visit to the state governor, Sani Bello, held at the State House in Minna.

While commiserating with the state government over the recent security challenges, he commended the Bello-led administration in ensuring release of the kidnapped passengers of the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) and prayed for the quick and safe release of the students of the Government Science College Kagara.

Responding yesterday, Bello, who noted that the State had been experiencing banditry attacks within six local governments, called for vigilance and assured that the Vigilantes would be strengthened to complement efforts of the security agencies across the state.

While advising the 25 Local government chairmen in the state to work closely with the traditional rulers for a better-secured State, he explained that having a close and cordial relationship with the traditional rulers would allow for proper scrutiny of strangers and those with questionable characters within their councils.

The Governor added that there was the need for frequent security meetings within various local government areas as security challenges were on the increase.

“In recent times we have experienced a lot of security problems. I would like to draw your attention as council chairmen that the situation is serious.”

“I would advise that you have close contact with the traditional rulers within your various local governments so that you can pick out men and women of questionable character before it gets too late, he added.

The Governor enjoined them to monitor movements of people within their local governments and get records of those coming in as well as visitors lodging in hotels within their various local governments.

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