Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State on Monday claimed most of the bandits terrorising the country are not Nigerians.
The governor said this while charging Nigerians to try their best not to “make them succeed in forcing us to change our normal lives”.
This is as the governor released about 1000 combined security agents to ensure the rescue of the 136 abducted students from Salihu Tanko Islamiya School in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger state.
“Most of these Bandits are from outside the country,” he said in his address to the agents.
“They are hired to cause problems for us. It is not the habit of the true Fulani to indulge in this kind of act.”
The agencies comprise the military, police, civil defence and vigilantes.
After a visit to some parents of the abducted children, Bello assured them that the government has resolved to take decisive measures in ensuring the safe return of the children.
“These bandits are well organised and coordinated. We can not fold our arms anymore but to take decisive and necessary steps to apprehend those involved, both the informants and the bandits.
“They started by displacing farmers from their farmlands. Next they moved to burning farms, then moved to kidnappings and forcing us to close our schools. Now they have started attacking Islamic schools, only God knows what is next,” the governor said.
Bello who earlier met with parents of the 136 kidnapped students of the Islammiya School and other stakeholders at the palace of the Emir of Kagara, Alh. Ahmed Garba Gunna, commiserated with them and urged them to exercise patience as government is exploring all avenues to see to their safe rescue.
He added, “Even though we have ruled out payment of ransom, it is time for government to take decisive measures towards ending the bandits activities that is forcefully changing the lives of the people especially in the rural areas.
“The abductors are not honest. They are not honourable. After agreeing with parents they started shifting goal post and now we are here to take action.”
The governor commended the security personnel for their efforts in fighting the bandits in the last few weeks.
He said logistics have been provided and that their allowances and other financial benefits will always be provided as at when due.
In his reaction, Emir of Kagara, Alhaji Ahmad Garba Gunna, (Attahiru II) commended the governor for all the support especially in security area to the emirate and the support given to the family of the kidnapped schoolchildren.
Headmaster of the Islamiyyah School, Mallam Abubakar Alhassan who also spoke said the action of the government to go in full combat was a welcome development provided that their children will be brought back safely.
Alhassan confirmed that 15 of his teachers escaped from their abductors in Zamfara State, with four already in Kagara and at a military facility in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, where they will be handed over to the Niger State Government soon.