The federal government says 1,460 persons have been killed in 330 attacks by bandits in the country in 2019.
Amina Shamaki, permanent secretary, special services, office of the secretary to the government of the federation, said this on Thursday at the federal and states security administrators’ meeting in Kebbi state.
Shamaki said the north-west, “which was one of the most peaceful zones of the country” is the worst hit by the banditry.
She said while the attacks have generally been on the decline, security situation in the north-west remains a major source of concern.
“From January to July, 2019, about 330 attacks were recorded, resulting to the death of about 1,460 civilians,” NAN quoted her as saying.
“However, between June and July, 2019, the number of incidents declined, especially in Zamfara state, that had been the epicentre of armed banditry.”
The permanent secretary also attributed the decline to the combination of “kinetic and non-kinetic measures” introduced in recent months, including getting criminals to lay down their arms.
“Application of the carrot and stick approach is an effective strategy that enables criminals wiling to embrace peace to do so while repentant ones are identified and isolated for appropriate actions by the security agencies,” she added.
“Another security concern is the porosity of our borders; the borders aided smuggling of small arms and light weapons from war-torn zones, including Libya and Central Africa Republic, terrorism, cross- border crimes, human trafficking, irregular migration and smuggling of migrants, among others.
“The federal government is doing a lot to improve border security with a view to addressing some of these challenges.”