Bello meets Buhari, expresses frustration over Niger’s worsening insecurity

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, on Wednesday met behind closed doors with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over security situation in his state.

After the meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the governor told State House correspondents that he got commitment from the President that the issue would be addressed.

He lamented that his state has been experiencing influx of bandits from neighbouring states.

The governor said the state was witnessing influx of bandits from neighbouring states, especially Zamfara and Kaduna states.

“So, we had a very fruitful discussion and the President has also pledged more support to the state on security matters so that within the shortest time, we will address the security situation,” Bello said.

When asked to describe the security situation in the state, the governor said, “The situation is very bad.”

Most of the bandits have started focusing their attention on the Bobi Grazing Reserve which I have also discussed with Mr President. We have investors that have started investing in terms of money, equipment, processing facilities and we do not want to discourage them so we applied most of our resources and efforts towards protecting the grazing reserve.

“But we are having influx of bandits from neighbouring states, especially Zamfara and Kaduna states.

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“It is difficult to patrol those areas because vehicles do not go there and they are deep in the forest, which means we will need the federal might especially the Air Force.”

Bello ruled out possible negotiation with the bandits, saying earlier attempt did not yield positive result because they were not honest in their talks.

He said, “They started with armed robbery, then they moved to cattle rustling and then to kidnapping as a means of getting money.

“But recently, the trend has changed. They started burning farms and animals. So, this has given me some concerns and at the same time it has kept me thinking, what is the motive?

“If you stop people from going to farms, it means you are trying to deprive that nation of food security. Why will someone want to deprive people of food security?”

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