The Niger State Government has expressed optimism of an imminent reduction in abductions and banditry following a meeting, in a forest in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state, of commanders of bandits operating in Niger, Kaduna and Zamfara States.
The Secretary to the Niger State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane revealed this on Thursday.
The meeting came on the heels of the abduction of 13 persons at Erena in the Munya Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday.
However, Matane told journalists in Minna, that the state government did not participate in the meeting because it was for bandits alone.
He said the state government was aware of the peace meeting held by the bandits in their hideout in Shiroro LGA of the state last week.
The SSG also said the state government planned to regulate the use of unregistered motorcycles and tricycles for commercial purposes.
On why the state government did not send a delegation, he said it was “because it was with commanders of bandits from other states; not for only those from Niger State.
“The meeting was summoned by the commander of a bandit group resident in Niger State and he invited other commanders from outside the state too for the meeting on how to restore peace to the state.
“The state government was not represented at the meeting because we realised that the meeting was purely for bandits from other locations to talk to each other on how to have permanent peace in this state.
“However, we have agreed that we will interface with them again to see where we can come in towards having a lasting peace in the state.
Laleye Dipo in Minna