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Niger State Governor, Umaru Bago, has declared a state of emergency due to escalating insecurity in the state capital, Minna, prompted by a resurgence of violent activities involving thugs.

Speaking at a Sallah Durba festival organized by former governor Babangida Aliyu on his farm in Minna, Governor Bago announced stringent measures to restore peace, including authorizing security forces to shoot at sight any threatening thugs within the state.

The governor’s directive follows a recent upsurge in thuggish activities, resulting in the tragic death of two individuals and numerous injuries in Minna on Friday night.

“I declare a state of emergency with shoot-at-sight orders for any thug found within the metropolis and the state,” declared Governor Bago. “We have zero tolerance for insecurity and thuggery. Sites of artisan miners contributing to this menace have also been shut down, with violators facing fatal consequences. Sponsors of such activities will be dealt with decisively.”


The Minna Emirate had suspended its annual traditional Sallah Durba for seven years due to insecurity, with residents relying on Aliyu’s self-organized Durba. However, violent incidents resurfaced recently, with Minna, known for harboring violent gangs like Yandaba, witnessing fatalities and injuries.

Former Governor Babangida Aliyu attributed the recent crisis to miners’ activities but assured that calm had been restored.

He noted that the insecurity had forced temporary business closures and disrupted the customary festivities associated with the annual festival.

“Insecurity persists in certain areas presently,” stated Aliyu. “I have addressed some issues, and I’m pleased that the governor is employing similar strategies. We must confront these criminals decisively by apprehending both them and their sponsors. Many have already fled town as they are unemployed criminals. It’s imperative to deal with them resolutely.”

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