Heads of security agencies in Niger state, led by the state Commissioner of Police, Adamu Usman, at the weekend visited the Sarki Pawa forest in Munya local government believed to have been occupied by bandits but discovered no operational camps in the area.
The commissioner, accompanied by the commander, 31 Artillery Brigade Minna, Brig.- Gen. Gideon Ajetonmobi; commander Air Force Base Minna, state director, DSS and state commandant NSCDC, said the visit to the forest was to enable security agencies map out new strategies to flush out the bandits from the state.
Speaking with journalists at one of the hot spots in the forest, the commissioner said, “as you are aware, the bandits are operating in this axis and we have come to ensure that we block the routes through which they come into this area. We are mapping out new strategies to smoke and flush out the bandits from the state but we will not disclose these strategies for security reasons.”
According to the commissioner, “the bandits do not have operational camps in Niger state, they rush in from Kaduna area of the forest to attack bonder communities, mostly hamlet settlements in Niger state and run back before our men get them.”
“We have discovered that the bandits converge in Gidani village in Kaduna area of the forest located about 30 kilometers away from Niger state from where they launch attacks on these border communities.”
He explained that the Niger state security agencies would have stormed the village to smoke out the bandits but for the fact that such action would negate operational rules since Gadani village is in Kaduna state not Niger state, adding that, “however we are in touch with our colleagues in Kaduna state for decisive action.”
In a mild drama at Igu Gari village where bandits recently killed four military personnel in an ambush, the heads of security chiefs were welcome by a widow, Mrs. Asebe Ayuba, mourning the killing of her grandson identified as Solomon and holding the picture of her slain son to her chest while sobbing.
She said Solomon was killed on Thursday in an attack by the bandits during which one Fulani man was also killed and 150 cows rustled from the village.
According to her, “After the first attack on the village during which military men were killed and two vehicles burnt in January, the bandits have attacked us more than three times, killing more than five people, including my grandson who was about to write his WAEC SSCE.”
“He told me he wanted to go to the university so that he can take care of me but now the bandits have cut short his dreams. I want government to come to our rescue and save us from these bandits. Let the security men come and fight the Boko Haram, who are coming to kill us almost every day.”