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 disclosed this while interacting with officials and members of the voluntary group 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 decried the vocation of some people in the state who turned themselves into 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.
He added that a census of all the vigilance members in the state should be carried out to enable government to provide them with stipends to boost their morale.
Bello announced the donation of N260 million to the group, noting that provision of logistical support such as motorcycles, cars and firearms would also be made to equip them 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 alongside maximum cooperation of the people.
Also, Chairmen of Kontagora, Rijau, Mashegu, Mariga and Magama council areas, who were part of the interaction, pledged their full support and cooperation towards fighting banditry.