Gov. Sani Bello of Niger on Saturday pledged to sponsor the education of children of members of the state’s chapter of the Vigilance Group of Nigeria (VGN) who lost their lives in a fight against bandits.
Bello made the promise while interacting with officials and members of GVN in Kontagora, Niger State.
He commended the renewed efforts of the vigilantes in the state for taking the fight to the hideouts of the bandits, adding that their activities were in the right direction.
He condemned some people in the state who had functioned as informants for bandits and warned that anyone caught would face the full wrath of the law.
The governor directed that the data of those killed by the bandits be compiled and forwarded to him through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Bello said that a census of all the vigilantes in the state should be carried out so as to enable the government to provide them with stipends in order to boost their morale.
Bello announced the donation of N260 million to the vigilance group, pledging that the provision of logistical support such as motorcycles, cars and firearms would also be made to equip them in the war against bandits.
Responding, Aliyu Makiga, vice-chairman of the group, appreciated the continued support of the state government which, he said, had assisted them with the wherewithal to confront bandits.
He said that the group had evolved new strategies of confronting the bandits, together with maximum cooperation of the people.
Also, the chairmen of Kontagora, Rijau, Mashegu, Mariga and Magama council areas, who were part of the interaction, pledged their full support and cooperation for the fight against banditry.