The Niger state Commissioner of Police, Adamu Usman, at the weekend led other security chiefs in the state on a strategic inspection of Sarki Pawa forest in Munya local government area of the state.
Prior to the inspection, it was believed that bandits occupied the area.
At the end of the operation, however, it was discovered bandits have no operational camps in the state, but in the Kaduna axis of the forest.
The commissioner was accompanied by the Commander 31 Artillery Brigade Minna Brigadier-General Gideon Ajetonmobi, Commander Air Force base Minna , state director, Department of State Service and commandant Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in the state.
Speaking to journalists during the exercise, Usman said the working visit to the forest was to enable security agencies map out new strategies to flush out the bandits from the state.
He 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.”
The CP further said: “The bandits do not have operational camps in Niger state. They rush in from Kaduna area of the forest to attack border communities mostly hamlet settlements in Niger state and run back before our men get them. We have discovered that the bandits converge on 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.
“However, we are in touch with our colleagues in Kaduna state for decisive action,” the CP also said.
A mild drama played out at Igu Gari village where bandits recently killed four military personnel in an ambush.
The heads of security chiefs were welcomed by a widow, Mrs. Asebe Ayuba, who was mourning the killing of her grandson identified as Solomon and holding the picture of the slain son to her chest while sobbing.
She said Solomon was killed Thursday in an attack by the bandits during which one Fulani man was also killed and 150 cows rustled from the village.
In an emotion-laden tone, she said: “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 again killing more than five people, including my grandson who was about to write his WAEC SSCE.
“He told me he wanted to go to 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.”