From Isa Dangana, Minna
Despite the efforts of Niger State Government to confront head long the incessant security challenges, the bandits have been having a field day, killing and inflicting injures on people.
Farmers are no longer willing to go to farms like previously as kidnapping of people has become a regular feature.
Although 10 out of 21 passengers of Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) kidnapped recently have not regained freedom, the state government is however hiding its face in shame for the unfortunate incident.
The whereabouts of 11 other passengers are still not known at the time of this report.
However, Governor Sani Bello, in a statement described the incident as an act of inhumanity, adding that his administration would intensify its efforts towards ensuring the safety of lives and property.
The governor maintained that the administration would not surrender to criminals in form of bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers, but would continue to utilize available resources and manpower to curb the menace.
He acknowledged the enormity of the security challenges facing the state, assuring the people that the state, in collaboration with President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies remain undaunted in its war against the lower societal elements making life miserable for the people.
The governor said they have adequately mobilized the security agencies to go after the bandits.
He said: “I am pained by the security concerns in the state, my priority is to safeguard lives and property and no stone will be left unturned.
“I am supporting the security agencies to ensure maximum security on our roads and communities.”
He appealed to families and loved ones of those kidnapped not to be downcast with the situation but be fervent in prayers to God for their safe return.
The governor solicited the cooperation of the people with the security agencies in sharing useful information that could help in the rescue of the kidnapped victims.
It was around 3:00pm that passengers, not fewer than 18, in an intra state bus of the NSTA, were kidnapped while coming back from a wedding at Rijau, in Rijau Local Government Area of the state.
Only a woman with her child were said to have been left by the kidnappers. The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe and his entourage, while returning from Kagara, his hometown in Rafi Local Government Area for the APC Registration and Revalidation exercise, were said to have escaped being kidnapped by whiskers.