Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello, has personally visited victims of armed bandits and other violent attacks in the State.
Governor Bello’s visit is coming barely 24 hours after a report by PRNigeria, over the ‘inaction’ of a Commission of Inquiry the Niger State Government had set up to visit communities ravaged by bandits and other communal clashes as a result of reprisal attacks.
The PRNigeria’s report, which was published on Sunday, 12 December 2021, stated that, “Reprisal attacks are going on in several communities in Niger state despite the government’s effort to arrest the spate of violent attacks by suspected gunmen and bandits”.
It further reported that Gov Sani-Bello had on November 3, 2021, set up a Commission of Enquiry, to unravel the cause of the bloody reprisals in Maza-Kuka, Addogon Malam Kulho and other communities in Mashegu Local Government Area of the State.
The governor had given the Commission led by Hon. Justice Danladi Ahmad one month to submit its report.
However, PRNigeria reported that members of the Commission refused to visit any of the communities for fact-finding in Mashegu and Kontagora axis, over month after their inauguration.
But 24 hours after PRNigeria’s story, Gov. Sani Bello visited the communities, calling on the people to be vigilant and observant of the activities in their neighborhood.
Mary Noel-Berge, the Governor’s spokesperson, in a statement yesterday, said that her principal’s visit to the communities followed recent banditry activities in some communities in Mashegu local government area of Niger State.
Part of the statement reads: “The Governor Sani Bello explained that the visit was aimed at obtaining first hand information on the incidents to enable the government restrategize and plan on how to prevent reoccurrence.
“At Tugan Ba’ari, Adogon Malam and Mazakuka communities where the Governor visited respectively and interacted with the residents, his message was the same.
“He empathized with them on the situation and stressed the need for them to make peace and be on the watch out for people with questioable character amongst them.
“Governor Sani Bello further urged them to workout modalities on how to fish out bad eggs among them so as to assist the security agents in curtailing the situation pointing out that there cannot be a successful attack without an insider.
“The Governor then assured the people that government will not rest on it oars in evolving measures that would prevent reoccurrence, expressing optimism that the commission of inquiry he had earlier set up would do a thorough job.
“The Council Chairman of Mashegu, Alh. Alhassan Isah Mazakuka disclosed that 17 people were killed, 19 kidnapped and 8 injured at Ba’ari while praying in the mosque last week.
“Alh. Isah Mazakuka said some of the victims who sustained injury in the attack are receiving treatment at the General Hospital Kontagora while some were referred to Kebbi State for treatment.
“Also speaking, the Ward Head of Tunga Ba’ari Alh. Garba Aliyu described the incidence as horrible, explaining that their men and women were taken away by bandits.
“He called on government to empower the vigilantes more, reiterating that insecurity in the area is becoming persistent.
“Recall that Mazakuka, Adogon Malam, Kulho among other communities in Mashegu have been experiencing series of banditry attacks that led to the killing of many people in recent times, just last week, scores were feared dead, some kidnapped and some others injured at Tugan Baari while they were performing the morning prayers in the Mosque.”