By Monsuru Olowoopejo
After accessing the persistent Cattle rustling, kidnappings and armed bandit attacks on communities in Niger State, the Governor, Abubakar Bello, has disclosed that the perpetrators were currently been aided by some influential residents in the state.
Bello added that the residents divulged vital security information and strategies to the perpetrators in order to ensure they continuously achieve a successful operations, leaving several residents in pains and anguish.
He made the allegations after five Local Government Areas, including Rafi, Shiroro, Mariga, Lapai and Munya have, recently suffered serial attacks from the bandits who maimed and destroying properties running into millions of naira and forced thousands to flee their homes for safety.
In an interview with newsmen at Government House, Minna, on Thursday, the governor stressed that the informants were respected citizens in Niger.
According to him, the actions of these residents were directly responsible for the inability of security agencies to completely overrun the criminals.
“This is a very serious challenge to us because the bandits are working with some highly placed members of the affected communities who give them vital information thereby aiding them from been tactically isolated and overrun”.
Bello said the state has been confronted with serial security threats in recent times and that government will not be deterred by the unpatriotic activities of such saboteurs but will do everything possible to bring and end to crime and criminality in the state.
The governor urged the people to support government in the fight against the bandits by reporting persons they suspect to be aiding the bandits and to also provide useful, prompt information to the security agencies in order to trace their movements and checkmate their nefarious activities.
He also identified the state’s landmass and vast forests as one of the biggest challenge stressing that the bandits have, regrettably, capitalized on the thickness of the forests to rustle Cattle and kidnap people in the affected areas.
“I can assure you that all hands are on deck to ensure that we provide safe and secure environment for our people. Our success against these miscreants can only be accelerated with proper knowledge and intelligence about them, hence the need for the support of all”.