A major assault against bandits is in the offing, as the military is set to carry out a major operation against kidnappers and other undesirable elements in the Kwangai forest of Niger State.
A former Police Commissioner, Alhaji Adamu Usman, disclosed this while speaking at a send forth organised in his honour by the Niger State Police Command following his elevation to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) and posting outside the state police command.
Usman, who said his major regret in his two-year stint in Niger State was the inability of the command to flush out bandits from the different forests in the state, added that: "My sadness is that I could not clear the forests of bandits before leaving, but my brother in the military is moving to Kwangai forest to do what I could not do.
"I am saddened by my inability to destroy the hideouts of bandits in the forest wreaking havoc in parts of the state."
He observed that the state is facing a lot of security challenges - banditry and kidnapping - being most prominent, adding that: "Crime and criminality are also ongoing and there is nothing you can do to just wipe them away at once. You just have to mitigate the challenge and that is what we have been doing and this will continue whether I am here or not."
Usman also observed that the country is presently going through a lot of security challenges, stressing that: "The force is trying its best to mitigate it.
"We are committed and determined to fight bandits, kidnapping and other criminality confronting our nation."
In a message to the ceremony, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello reiterated the commitment of his administration to synergize with and support police in the task of tackling the security challenges facing the state.
Speaking through the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, Bello described AIG Usman as a principled but flexible leader, "who is unbendable when an action cannot be justified, but bendable, if such action can be justified".
He also added that the harmonized security team that comprised security agencies and vigilantes, which AIG Usman helped to put together, will continue to serve in the battle against bandits and kidnapers and other criminal elements in the state.