19 January 2022
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In the first two weeks of this month, Niger State communities were attacked by bandits at least 50 times, with over 300 persons killed and 200 kidnapped, including security personnel.
Governor Abubakar Bello disclosed this to State House correspondents on Tuesday after he met with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to brief him on the development.
The governor, who enumerated the series of attacks and their consequences on lives, blamed the low response time to the attacks on the lack of access roads to the affected communities.
He, however, expressed optimism that with the new measures being put in place, the security situation in the state would improve soon, adding that contiguous states must work together to stop terrorists from moving from one region to another.
Bello stated, “This afternoon, I came to visit Mr President to give him an update on the security situation in Niger State concerning banditry activities, kidnapping and cattle rustling, among others. We were able to review some of the invasions in the state. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you all.
“In the last few days, there have been a lot of activities in Niger State. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we will see some relief with regard to banditry. I also gave a highlight on some of the challenges. Of course, our size is a disadvantage, almost nine million hectares. We lost some forests.
“In January this year alone, we suffered not less than 50 reported attacks and loss of lives between January 1 and 17. Within the same period, no fewer than 300 communities were invaded by bandits. The number of people kidnapped is 200, including three Chinese nationals.”