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Governor Abubakar Bello has warned individuals or group of people in possession of firearms illegally in the state to surrender them within seven days to the appropriate authority.
The governor, who gave the directive yesterday in a state wide broadcast on the recent security challenges in some communities of Bosso local government area of the state, also disclosed the composition of a Judicial Panel of Inquiry into the military/communal clash.
He warned of grave consequences for failure to surrender such illegal firearms, stressing that the state will no longer be safe haven for criminals.
The governor observed that proliferation of small arms and light weapons are on the increase in the rural communities unlike in the past when gun running was only limited to the metropolitan cities.
He bemoaned the invasion of some villages in the state by cattle rustlers, kidnappers, banditry, armed robbers and other nefarious activities being committed by criminally minded persons.
“We must rise now to fight this menace. To achieve this task successfully, we must pay attention to what happens in our homes, villages and communities. We must make security of our environment our business by reporting any suspicious movement or activities around us to security agencies”, he said.
On the restriction of motorcycle movement from 7pm to 6am in the state capital and major cities in the state, the governor said the law was still in force, adding that he had ordered security agencies to embark on stop and search operation as a result of the prevailing security challenges in state of recent.
Governor Bello urged the people to bear with patience the attendant discomfort they will be subjected to as the decision to introduce these measures were taken in the interest of all.
He expressed regret for the clash between the military and some communities that resulted in loss of lives and property on both sides in Bosso Local Government area. He maintained that the sad incident was not a true reflection of what the people and the state were known for.
“The sad and emerging violent culture in our various communities is not a true reflection of of who we are or what we stand for, and belief in as a people. We cannot at this crucial point in our development as a state allow minor differences that can be mutually discussed and resolved to bring us to daggers drawn at one another”, he said.
The governor then called on the security agencies to be professional in carrying out their constitutional responsibilities and enjoined them to intensify efforts in sustaining peace and security of the state through inter-agency collaboration and intelligence gathering.
He also urged the security agents to build a new and robust, mutually beneficial relationship with various critical stakeholders in the state.
He commended the role played by the Emir of Minna, Umar Bahago for ensuring that peace returned to the communities and has also directed Niger State Emergency Maintenance Agency, NSEMA, to provide relief materials to the affected families of the injured and displaced persons.
The governor further appealed to the members of the affected communities who fled their villages in the wake of the military/communal clash to return to their villages as normalcy has returned promising them of adequate security.