Council chairmen, political appointees run away from Niger villages

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The people of Niger State has been thrown into fear and anxiety following the abduction of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mallam Mohammed Sani Idris, from his residence, on Sunday, by gunmen, local government chairmen and other political appointees have abandoned their villages for fear of being kidnapped.

Daily Sun gathered that apart from the chairman of few local government areas of Chanchaga, Suleja, Bida, Kontagora, Mokwa, Borgu and Agwara, every other chairman has relocated to Minna, the state capital

The affected chairmen now administer their council from Minna with only occasional visits to the headquarters of the councils, as there appears to be no end to banditry activities in the state.

The mass exodus from the local localities also include prominent political appointees and top government officials.

The recent onslaught by gunmen saw the abduction of the Commissioner for Information and All Progressives Congress (APC) zonal chairman within five days, and is still being held by his abductors due to the government’s stance not to negotiate with bandits.

Apart from the chairmen and other political appointees, contractors handling roads and other projects in the villages have equally abandoned sites for fear of being kidnapped or killed.

An expatriate with a construction company handling a road project, along Minna-Zungeru road, was abducted and killed alongside three soldiers when they (soldiers) tried to rescue him.

The incident came barely four months after gunmen abducted three staff of another construction company, alongside a staff of the ministry of works and infrastructure development from a site in Erena, Shiroro local government area of the state.

READ ALSO: Soldier, 29 People killed in Kaduna, Niger states

None of the local communities chairmen was ready to comment on this development when contacted, but a senior government official who did not want his name in print, told Daily Sun that the security situation has gone out of control of the government, hence, the need for everyone, especially political appointees, to seek personal protection.

“You cannot blame anybody for looking for a place to hide his head. Everyone knows that the security situation has gone out of control of everybody, including the government, so we have surrendered our fate to God for protection; but, before then, we need to take caution.

“Nobody can contest the fact that our villages are no longer safe. The kidnapping of the commissioner, on Sunday, is an eye opener that nobody is safe any longer, that is the reality,” he said.

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