By Kingsley Omonobi
MINNA—GOVERNOR Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has ordered immediate release of all persons arrested by the military over the incident in Bosso Local Government Area of the state that claimed the lives of 12 military personnel and some civilians and handover to the police for thorough investigation.
This came as the governor said the government was setting up a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the circumstances that lead to the incident.
It will be recalled that 10 soldiers and two air force personnel were killed in a shootout with gun runners and armed bandits in three villages in Bosso Local Government area last week.
Governor Bello in a state broadcast in Minna, yesterday, said: “I have directed that all persons arrested by the military be released to the Police for thorough investigation. I have also visited the affected communities to commiserate with the people and have on-the-spot assessment of the situation. I have directed the Police to provide adequate security through regular patrol of the affected areas.”
While assuring citizens of the state of security of lives and properties, the governor revealed that based on preliminary investigation and Security Council meeting, government was setting up a judicial commission of inquiry.
According to him: “In view of the preliminary reports of the ad-hoc committee and decisions reached at various meetings by the Security Council, machinery has been put in place to constitute a judicial commission of inquiry to further look into the matter. In keeping faith with the oath that I swore to as your elected Governor, I remain committed to ensuring safety of all in Niger State; after all, every life, whether civilian or military is important. We are determined to providing a safe and secured Niger State for all. So I call on all Nigerlites to remain focused especially at these trying times in our collective efforts to transform the state using our shared vision with unlimited opportunities.”
The Governor commended effort of the security agencies and urged them to be professional in carrying out their professional responsibilities, saying “Let me at this point call on the security agencies to be professional in carrying out their Constitutional responsibilities. I enjoin them to intensify their efforts in sustaining peace and security of the state through inter-agency collaboration and intelligence gathering. I urge the security agents to build a new and robust, mutually beneficial relationship with various critical stakeholders in the state.
“It is clear that since this unfortunate incident occurred, our focus as a government is to find peaceful resolution. We know when states or nations face challenges either security or economy; leaders join hands to proffer solution. That is what we have been doing. That is what we will continue to do. This is no time politics and blame game.”