By Habibu Harisu
The joint security team led by the 8 Division, Nigerian Army Sokoto have conducted interactive meeting with their Nigerien counterparts on tackling cross border banditry and other crimes.
A statement signed by Col. Sagir Musa, Acting Director Army Public Relations and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Sokoto said the meeting was held at Dakana in Niger Republic on Thursday.
Musa said Nigerian delegates extensively and fruitfully brainstormed with their Nigerien counterparts on the unfolding security challenges in Sokoto state and environs.
“The aim of the visit was to discuss further modalities to enhance and promote joint military/security inter border relations among the security agencies of both countries,” Musa said.
He said the exercise was sequel to security threats along the international boundary between Niger Republic and Nigeria, which necessitated the establishment of a joint military border patrol in Sept. 2018.
He noted that the main objective of the joint security venture was to check the menace of cross border armed banditry and other criminalities across the two nations’ common porous borders.
According to him, the joint security team from Nigeria was led by the Commander, 1 Brigade, Brig. Gen. L. N. Udeagbala who represented the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division.
He added that others on the Nigerian team comprised representatives from the Nigerian Army, Police, State Security Services, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Custom Service and Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps.
He said representatives from their Nigerien counterpart included, the Commanding Officer, Special Intervention Command, Lt. Col. Saminou Mani, Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Siddo Seyni and other officers.
NAN recalled that the 82-year old district head of Balle in Sokoto State, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, was killed by suspected armed bandits on May 7, at his palace.
Balle is the headquarter of Gudu Local Government Area of Sokoto state and together with many other villages in Sabon Birni Local Government Area continue to suffere major causalities in the hands of suspected armed bandits.
At present, many residents had fled their homes and relocated to Gatawa and some communities in Niger Republic.
The situation prompted Gov. Aminu Tambuwal at a press conference on May 11, to plead with the fleeing residents to return home.