Niger State Government has confirmed the number of students abducted by bandits at the Salihu Tanko Islamic School, Tegina, Rafi local government to be 136.
The state Deputy Governor, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, confirmed the number while giving an update on the situation, at the Government House, Minna.
He gave assurance to the parents of the abducted children that the government was doing its best for the students’ safe return and reiterated the government’s readiness to give continued support to the security agencies.
The Deputy Governor disclosed that the state government has so far provided support to the security agencies including distribution of various operational vehicles.
“We have so far given 89 operational vehicles, 283 operational motorcycles, 30 bicycles, 4 Tri-cycles in addition to funding the various security operations in the state that include: Karamin Goro, Sharan Daji, Girgizan Daji, Gama Aiki, Ayem Akpatuma I & II, Puff Adder I & II”, he said
He added that 70 Nissan Vehicles and 2,300 motorcycles as mobility support have been provided to the vigilante corps in the state.
He said that the security agencies were doing their best but don’t have enough logistics, saying intervention from the Federal Government was needed to equip them so that they confront the bandits.
The Deputy Governor said that the security agencies were being careful in the pursuit of bandits to avoid collateral damage.
Meanwhile, the state government has announced the total ban of commercial motorcycles popularly known as Okada in Minna the state capital. Ketso said the ban was to ensure that the state capital is safe, however, he stated that private motorcycles are allowed to operate but with restriction from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am.
The government said that the Okada Riders Association has been informed and that the latter will implement the ban.
The Deputy Governor also directed all the Emirs, District Heads, and village heads to liaise with local government Chairmen to profile all new residents in their domains and to be security-sensitive.