Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State and Adeniyi Oyebade, a Major General and GOC 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, have assured poeple of the state of their safety and urged them to be law abiding and report any suspicious persons or movements to appropriate security agencies.
The Governor who spoke through his deputy, Ahmed Ketso made the call while receiving the GOC at the Government House, Minna.
Governor Bello described last Thursday’s incidence in Kopa community and environs of Bosso Local Government Area which led to the death of ten soldiers and some civilians as unfortunate and called on all to consider it as an act of God
He stressed the need for joint operation by all security agencies so as to prevent the state from being infested with criminals flushed out from neighbouring states.
The governor then assured the GOC of the state government’s support to to the military while charging them to respect rules of engagement.
He also called on political office holders and politicians to be sensitive in their sayings and shun all sort of rumor that could become an obstacle to the peaceful co-existence that the state is known for.
The military has assured residents of Kopa, Lunko and other nearby communities in Bosso Local Government area of Niger State where 10 soldiers and 7 villagers were killed last Thursday of their safety and advised them to return to their homes.
The GOC gave this assurance during his remark at the Government House. Residents of the villages had fled their homes on Thursday following a face-off that led to the death of an officer, 8 soldiers and Air force men for fear of reprisal attacks by the military.
Oyebade said that now that normalcy has returned to the area, the state government should use all its information apparatus to plead with the villagers to return to their homes assuring that the safety of their lives and properties are guaranteed.
He also expressed the appreciation of the military high command to the state government for its prompt intervention, visit to the scene of the incidence and to 31 Artillery Brigade to condole with the officers and men over the loss of their colleagues.
He disclosed that the 57 suspects arrested by his men and the cache of assorted weapons recovered are to be handed over to the Police by Tuesday for further investigation and prosecution.