The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, has urged members of the communities in the Mashegun Local Government Area of the state to be vigilant and observant of the activities in their neighbourhood.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mary Noel-Berje, in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday, said he made the visit following the recent activities of bandits in the communities.
Governor Bello explained that the visit was aimed at obtaining first-hand information on the incidents to enable the government to restrategize and plan on how to prevent reoccurrence.
“I decided to come and see what has happened, get first-hand information so that we can plan how to stop such things from happening going forward. It is unfortunate that people are being attacked while saying their prayers early in the morning,” he said.
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 empathised with them on the situation and stressed the need for them to make peace and be on the watch out for people with questionable character amongst them.
Governor Bello further urged them to work out 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
“I understand that it is the work of bandits probably with the connivance of some locals. So I call on the community members to pay attention to their neighbours and to be very observant of what is going on around them,” he said.
According to the statement, “The Governor then assured the people that government will not rest on its 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 incident as horrible, explaining that their men and women were taken away by bandits.
“He called on the government to empower the vigilantes more, reiterating that insecurity in the area is becoming persistent.”
Mazakuka, Adogon Malam, Kulho among other communities in Mashegu LGA have been experiencing series of banditry attacks that have led to the death of many. 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.