Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola yesterday said more than 8,000 people had been killed by bandits in the North-West region.
Aregbesola, who spoke in Katsina at a town hall meeting with the theme, ‘Internal Security and Conflict Resolution,’ said the figure was made available by international crisis group.
The minister lamented that activities of bandits had destroyed economic and farming activities in the rural areas of the region.
He added that for fear of attacks, many people, including farmers, had abandoned their homes and fled for safety.
Aregbesola, who described the bandits acts as wicked, further said they had succeeded in kidnapping and raping innocent citizens.
He, however, commended security agents and vigilante groups for their efforts to end banditry activities in the North-West.
Aregbesola condoled with families that lost their beloved ones as a result of bandits’ attacks, and assured that his ministry would continue to work with the state governments to end the problem.
He commended the initiatives of Katsina State government to involve communities to assist in ending the problem.
In his speech, Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi, said the town hall meeting came at the right time, as police were facing challenge of unprofessionalism.
He said the Nigerian Police would continue to engage stakeholders to formulate policies and bring meaningful reforms in discharging its duty.
He charged the participants of the meeting to be frank and to come up with measures in dealing with insecurity problem in Nigeria.
Earlier, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, said his administration was working with security agents and communities to end banditry activities in the state, assuring that government would implement all recommendations of the town hall meeting for peace to return in the eight troubled local government areas of the state.