Abubakar Bello, Niger state governor has alleged that bandits are recruited through social media.
He said some of the operating in the North come from Sudan and Mali, with some making the trip on motorcycles.
Bello said this after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the state house on Wednesday.
He said, “They are being recruited through social media, through Facebook in some cases. They confessed to this. They governor said the activities of bandits differ from place to place.”
He lamented that the situation was bad in his state.
“The situation is very bad. Niger is 73,000 square kilometers. It’s the size of the entire south-south and south-east,” he said.
“So, first of all, we have a limited number of security personnel and I think we have to start thinking of increasing the number so that we are able to cover most of the local government within the state.
“Some of our local governments are up to 6,000 to 7,000 square kilometers. For example, the Bobi Grazing Reserve, established by the state government, the CBN and the federal government to stop the movement of cattle and avoid herders/farmers conflict, has become a target.
“We are having an influx of bandits from neighbouring states, especially Zamfara and Kaduna states. It is difficult to patrol those areas because vehicles do not go there and it is a forest, which means we will need the federal might, especially the air force.
“By the way, the air force has been doing well in recent times to support our ground operations. In one particular case, we arrested bandits that are foreigners from as far as Sudan and Mali and they came on motorcycles.
“They are being recruited through social media, through Facebook in some cases. They confessed to this. They governor said the activities of bandits differ from place to place.”