As tension continues to rise over the abducted Tanko Saliyu Islamiyya School pupils in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area, the Niger State government has announced a number of stricter measures to guarantee security of lives and property of the residents.
Niger State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Muhammad Ahmed Ketso, disclosed this while giving an update on efforts being made to end security siege, adding that negotiations were still on between the state government and the armed bandits to ensure safe return of the pupils.
The Deputy Governor also explained that only 136 pupils were abducted from the Tanko Salihu Islamiyya School as against 200 being speculated by media organisations, adding, however, that the government is working tirelessly with security agencies to establish the location of the children.
Part of the measures being put in place is indefinite ban on commercial motorcycle within Minna, the state capital and environs while privately owned motorcycles are restricted between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
To enhance mobility of security operatives, including local vigilante, the Deputy Governor said additional 89 operational vehicles, 283 motorcycles, four tricycles and 30 bicycles have been provided to security agencies to ensure adequate security of the state.
The Deputy Governor, however, lamented that, already, the 70 number of Nissan vehicles, 2, 300 motorcycles already with security agencies were highly inadequate to secure the state hence soliciting for the support of the Federal Government.
The Deputy Governor who, however, challenged journalists, especially online, to be conscious of their reports to avoid heightening the already tensed security situation, said: “If you are not sure, do not share.”
While also ruling out possible payment of ransom to the armed bandits who are already demanding N110 million ransom else they would start killing the pupils, Ketso said: “We are aware the security agencies are doing their best despite being poorly equipped.”
“State government is appreciative of what security agencies have done or what they are doing in respect of recent kidnap. The state government is not considering paying ransom and we are constantly in touch with their parents and keep assuring them that their children are safe.”