By Laleye Dipo
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has described the abduction of some construction workers in the state by bandits as an act of sabotage
A site engineer, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq, and three other members of staff of an indigenous road construction company, were kidnapped in Shiroro Local Government Area last week by the bandits who initially demanded N1 billion before the victims would be released but later brought down the ransom to N700 million.
Governor Bello, commenting on the incident for the first time, described the action of the bandits as an act of sabotage especially now that the government is pursuing aggressively road construction.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, Bello said: “The abduction of the construction workers from site at a time when the government is aggressively embarking on the construction of some rural roads across the state to make life easy and enhance economic activities of the people is a deliberate attempt to sabotage government efforts, which will not be tolerated.
“No responsible government will fold its hands and watch some criminal elements hold its people hostage. It is time to take the fight to their (kidnappers) hideouts and rout them out of the communities. Enough is enough.”
He assured the people that government is doing everything within its power to ensure that Abubakar, a member of staff of the Niger State Ministry of Works, and the three members of staff of a construction company recently abducted by gunmen from a construction site at Erena community in Shiroro Local government, are rescued unhurt.
“Government has provided all the needed logistics support to ensure that these people regain their freedom and the criminals brought to face justice,” the governor said.
He stated that government “is on top of the situation and that the abducted persons would be rescued and reunited with their families within the shortest possible time”.
Bello however vowed that no amount of banditry or criminality in parts of the state will deter the government from achieving its rural roads transformation agenda.
The governor commended security agents in the state for the sacrifices made so far towards combating the activities of the bandits and other forms of criminality in the state and urged them to go after the perpetrators of the inhuman act.
Bello reassured the people of the state of government’s commitment to the protection of lives and property of the citizens, which he said, remains its cardinal responsibility.