BREAKING: Anxiety in Niger over heavy security presence

Chika Otuchikere

In the wake of the twin attacks that rocked Niger State on Sunday Night and Monday morning in which claimed the lives of 36 soldiers, Niger State residents have been full of apprehension.

There has been more visible presence of military trucks and personnel in most places in the state capital. Trucks load of soldiers were seen moving towards the direction of Shiroro, the local government area where the attacks took place…..CONTINUE READING 

Also, there has been the presence of police patrol vehicles at major public placed, giving the indication that the security agencies were more alert in the event of any unforeseen incident.

The state Police Command spokesman, Abiodun Wasiu, who reacted to this development in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, said it was a routine which had been in place since bandits had been disturbing the peace of the state capital.

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He noted that the presence of police patrol vehicles stationed at strategic public places should not be misconstrued to mean that the police mounted surveillance due to the attacks in Shiroro Local Government Area.

“Nothing is happening. Is it a bad thing for security to be everywhere? We are just being proactive for the safety of all, there’s nothing serious.

“You can ask around, nothing is happening. This patrol has been on ground. If you follow trend, the governor gave police and other security agencies these vehicle to beef up security presence in the state not quite long.

“He just wants the vehicles to be positioned in the metropolis for visibility. At least, presence of security deters a lot of things. This has been there before this attacks that took place.

“Ask people in town. These vehicles have been given in the past two months and the governor had promised these vehicles because there was no vehicle for these security agencies. So, he brought it to boost security patrols so we must not interpret it to mean its because of what happened.

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“You can do your findings; banditry has been a challenge in Niger State. It has nothing to do with the deployment of patrol vehicles in the town. That issue of banditry is just in about two or three local governments,” Wasiu explained.

However, in spite of the police reassurance, residents in Minna, the state capital, said they had not slept with their two eyes closed since the attack in which the military was said to have killed over 50 bandits.

They said apart from the continuous military truck siren sending shock waves around the place, experience had shown that the military would never take lightly any attack which leaves their soldiers dead.

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“In this case, they said the bandits killed over 30 soldiers, including some officers. For sure, they will go all out to deal with this bandits and anybody caught in the crossfire will be regarded as collateral damage. So, it is advisable for everyone in the state to be cautious, no matter where you are,” a primary school teacher, who gave her name as Hajia Zainab, said.

A civil servant at the state Secretariat, Mohammed, who also expressed his fears on the development, said as early as 6.30am, he had received a call from his sister in Kwara State, who said she was calling to find out how he was…..CONTINUE READING 

Mohammed said the sister told him that after she read of the attack on social media, she imagined that hell must have been lot loose in Niger State.