The Niger State Government has claimed that banditry was birthed by climate change, porous borders, poverty, illiteracy among other factors.
The Secretary to the Government of Niger State (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, stated this on Tuesday, at a one-day symposium on banditry and insecurity in the state organized by the Centre for Historical Research and Documentation, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai.
He linked the origin of banditry to the North-Western, specifically Zamfara State, during the farmer-herder clashes that degenerated to the present-day insecurity.
The SSG, who was the Guest Speaker, said, “banditry can be attributed to several factors. These include climate change, non-agricultural use of land, the porous nature of Nigeria’s border, undelineated states borders, poverty, illiteracy and unemployment and proliferation of small arms and light weapons among several others”.
According to him, to stem the tide, there is a need for coordinated and sustained joint security operations, strict surveillance on the proliferation of weapons, full deployment of ICT – drones, trackers, communication systems – as well as the establishment of community policing.
He also revealed that the activities of informants, who share intelligence with the bandits on the movement of their targets, have aggravated the present state of insecurity particularly in some parts of the state.
Matane further noted that joint security operations must be mobilized and sustained to dislodge banditry and other criminality in the state.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Abu-Kasim Adamu, in his address, said the theme of the symposium was apt and timely, noting that “the event could not have come at a time better than now”.