The Governor of Niger State in North Central Nigeria, Abubakar Sani Bello has condemned the abduction of Tegina Islamiya School Pupils and the escalating level of banditry in the state.
The Governor also expressed shock by the recent abduction of people by armed bandits in several communities across three Local Government Areas of Rafi, Wushishi and Lavun in the state.
The official report by the State government, through Mrs Noel Berje, stated that armed Bandits had on Sunday afternoon, kidnapped an unconfirmed number of Islamic Pupils alongside some passengers travelling to Minna in Tegina community, Rafi Local Government Area (LGA) of the State.
“The situation has reached crisis level, in fact it’s a war situation that we have to confront without further delay
“The State government is still searching and conducting House-to-House headcount to ascertain the exact number of children abducted,” added the Governor
The Spokesperson to the Niger State Governor, Mrs Berje, further mentioned that a different set of gunmen on seventy motorcycles attacked seventeen communities in Wushishi LGA killing several people including women and children.
“More than ten people are reported to be receiving treatment at the Wushishi General Hospital and search is still ongoing for many missing persons from Babako, Tashan Girgi, Kwakwagi, Fakara, Ndiga, Buzu, Akare, Kala Kala, Agwa, Anguwan Gizo, Tsamiya and other neighbouring villages attacked by the Bandits.“
The Governor who described the serial attacks across the state as unfortunate and unbecoming assured residents that a Joint Military Taskforce has been mobilized and are already tracing the criminals for possible isolation and ambush.
The Governor called on the Federal Government for prompt intervention on banditry and criminal activities in the state.
The Niger State Governor however appealed for calm across communities while restating his commitment to protect the lives and property of the citizens as a matter of utmost importance and priority.
Meanwhile, report indicates that 11 children who could not walk among the kidnapped Islamiyya pupils were released by the bandits.
According to the Niger State Command Public Relations Officer, Wasiu Abiodun; “It has immediately mobilized all tactical teams including Operation Puff 2 to the location for rescue of the victims.
“The Police calls for calm as the security agencies in the State shall do everything humanly possible to ensure that the children are rescued unhurt.”
Abdul Mohammed Isa, Niger State