Insecurity: Niger Gov Wants Military Operation Extended to Niger

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Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello

By Laleye Dipo

The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has appealed to the federal government to extend the ongoing land and air military operations against bandits and other criminal elements to the bandit-infested areas of the state.

Bello also suggested that the operation should be carried out simultaneously in the North-west and North-central geo political zones of the country in order not to give the criminals any hiding place.

The governor made the suggestions in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Verge, Tuesday night, while reacting to the recent assault on villagers in Rafi and Mashegu Local Government Areas of the state, where many lives were lost, property destroyed and a large number of cattle rustled.

“The bandits run to other states once they feel the pressure of the military. Look at what happened to us in Niger recently. They invaded Shiroro, Munya and Rafi upon being overpowered in Kaduna. Similarly, they invaded, killed and kidnapped many in Sokoto communities,” the governor said.

Bello expressed regret at the recent killing of 18 persons and the kidnap of some community members at Mazakuka and Kaboji towns in Mashegu Local Government Area, as well as the kidnap of no fewer than 30 travellers at Garin -Gabas in Rafi Local Government Area of the state, noting that: “The bandits can only be eliminated completely, and in a short time, if the assault on them is carried out simultaneously.”

The governor disclosed that there is an existing joint security collaboration between the affected states, pointing out that the governors in the states are already talking with the army chief on how to carry out simultaneous military operations against the miscreants.

“We must checkmate this new trend; we are talking with the military about it and they are already doing an urgent strategic overview of the situation in order to incorporate a plan in the sustained battle against the bandits,” he said.

Bello therefore urged the affected communities in the state to assist the military with intelligence for effective and successful operations.