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After Abduction of 83 Villagers, Niger Bans Sale of Motorcycles – THISDAY Newspapers

•Katsina recruits 500 more vigilance operatives to tackle banditry
Laleye Dipo in Minna
To curb incessant banditry and kidnapping in Niger State, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has banned the sale of motorcycles in the state.
This is coming as bandits have invaded Zagzaga community in the Munya Local Government Area of Niger State, the third within one week, and abducted 10 more villagers, bringing the total number of persons with the bandits to 83.
They have also demanded for N150million ransom by the bandits before those in captivity would be set free.
The Katsina State Government has however, recruited 500 more persons as vigilance operatives to complement efforts of other security agencies in rural communities.
Secretary to the Niger State Government, Mr. Ahmed Matane, said in a statement issued in Minna yesterday that the ban on sales of motorcycle resulted from incessant security challenges in some parts of state.
He stated that the ban was also informed by the fact that bandits and kidnappers now demand motorcycles as ransom.
He explained that the ban covered the sale of “any motorcycle (Bajaj, Boxer, Qiujeng, Honda ACE, Jingchen) with engine capacity from 185 Cubic Centimetres (cc) and above’’.
Matane stated also that the measure was aimed at eradicating the activities of criminals, bandits and kidnappers who unleashed mayhem on innocent citizens.
He condemned the degree of carnage and pandemonium bandits and kidnappers caused in parts of the state and reiterated its continued determination to rid the state of security threats.
Matane added that the government was aware of the inconveniences the measure would cause the people, but the decision was taken in the overall interest of the state.
He appealed to dealers in motorcycles in the state to comply with the directive.
He urged the citizens to cooperate with security agencies on the security measures being put in place to put an end to activities of criminal elements.
The secretary to the state government also stated that government had ordered security agencies in the state to ensure effective and strict compliance and enforcement of the directive.
Matane reaffirmed that commercial motorcycling and operation of illegal garages remained banned in Minna and its environs.
Meanwhile, bandits have invaded Zagzaga community in the Munya Local Government Area of Niger State, the third within one week, and abducted 10 more villagers, bringing the total number of persons with the bandits to 83.
They have also demanded for N150million ransom by the bandits before those in captivity will be set free.
An eyewitness told THISDAY yesterday that the bandits returned to the community in the early morning hours, riding 10 motorcycles.
“They parked their motorcycles about 500 metres to our village and came on foot, and began to select those they wanted to take away
“They were asking for names of some particular set of people which gave us the impression that they were working with informants,” the eyewitness further said.
It was learnt that before the Saturday morning invasion the bandits had phoned to demand for the N150million ransom.
THISDAY gathered that people are now leaving Zagzaga in droves as a result of the activities of the bandits who have set up a camp at Sohon Kabula with not less than 30 motorcycles at their disposal.
Meanwhile, the Katsina State Government has recruited 500 more persons as vigilance operatives to complement efforts of other security agencies in rural communities.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mustapha Inuwa, said this was part of efforts to check banditry.
He spoke while receving the interim report on the recruitment of vigilance groups, led by the Special Adviser on Security, Alhaji Ibrahim Katsina.
He said the measures were part of sustained efforts by the administration to restore peace and security.
‘Each state in the North-west that is currently facing security challenges has been given the mandate to recruit credible vigilance members to boost their security architecture,’’ Inuwa said.
Also speaking, a member of the Security Committee representing Katsina Emirate Council, Kauran Katsina and district head of Rimi, Alhaji Nuhu Abdulkadir, said the Committee had lived up to its mandates and had searched diligently for trustworthy and reliable people in the communities, who had the needed qualities to be trained and work alongside security personnel for the restoration of peace in Katsina.
A member of the Security Committee representing Daura Emirate Council, and also a retired Deputy Commissioner of Police, Lawal Al-Hassan said the Committee selected 13 vigilantes from each local government area of the state, who were of proven courage and integrity, with the right disposition to get the job done.
With the previous 500 persons that were recruited, the total number of vigilantes in the state is now 1,000.

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