The Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG), Mallam Ibrahim Metane, has said that the dire security situation across the country is beyond what state governments can handle on their own.
The SSG said that armed bandits are more equipped and mobile than official security agents, with enough weapons and modern communication equipment making the situation very difficult to address.
Speaking at a media briefing in Minna on Tuesday on the current security situation in parts of the state, Metane pointed out that, apart from the shortage of security personnels, equipment are not sufficient to enable them confront the bandit threat.
He disclosed that despite the state government expending close to N5 billion on security in the last two years, 70 per cent of the state is under siege from bandits, Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters, stressing that while Boko Haram and bandits are operating in about three local government area of Shiroro, Munya and Rafi, ISWAP is trying to establish its camp in Babana, in Borgu Local Government Area.
According to him, ’70 per cent of the state is not secured because of the limited numbers of security agents in the state. Again, the bandits are more equipped than our security agents, they have modern communication equipment, enough guns and ammunition and they are very mobile with their motorcycles that can access any terrain.’
Metane further disclosed that lack of synergy between affected states, especially in the North Central region, has made confronting the bandit threat difficult, stressing that ‘every state is on its own in Nigeria today, the synergy will be very difficult.’
He reaffirmed the state government’s ban on the sale of certain types of motorcycles in the state following the discovery of their being used by bandits, in addition to requesting it as ransom for the release of their victims.
He sighted an instance where over 300 motorcycles were sold in Minna, the state capital in one day, adding that those types ‘of transactions are questionable, and we believe this measure will curtail the activities of the criminal elements.’