Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has warned communities in the state against harbouring bandits.
Bello gave the warning in Minna on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, disclosing some communities are hiding bandits out of fears for their safety.
He warned, “Very soon, we will tag those communities same as bandits. If you are harbouring any bandit, then you are one. Even if you do not carry gun, you are one. Because you are risking the lives of our security agents, and the people.
“This war now is not just for our security agencies but it’s our war, because everyone is being threatened by what is going on.
“It calls for everyone to be involved, but unfortunately, those in rural communities for their own safety have decided to go into an alliance with some of these criminals. I think they are being promised so kind of peace as long as they are not exposed but it won’t remain forever.”
He also advised the people, especially those at the rural areas to be very mindful of the activities of their neighbours and those around them.
He added, “If you see the financial capacity of your neighbour has changed over night or spending pattern just changed, I think it calls for suspicion. I think you have to report such a person to the authority even if you don’t have strong evidence you need to report it.”
Bello explained that after investigations are conducted and such a person is not found wanting, he or she will be released.
He also lamented that some herdsmen have become bandits after loosing their livelihood to bandits.
“The bandits mostly will rustle cattle from Fulani herdsmen and when they do that, sometimes the herdsmen lose all their assets that are the cattle, and some times they are forced to join the bandits,” the governor further stated.