Armed men kidnap Niger state commissioner

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Niger’s state information and strategy commissioner Mohammed Idris was kidnapped by gunmen on Sunday in Baban Tunga village in the state’s Tarfa local government area.

The Secretary of the State Government, Ahmed Matane, revealed this to the Nigerian News Agency on Monday in a telephone interview.

Mr. Matane said the armed men who came aboard about 15 motorcycles with sophisticated weapons kidnapped the commissioner around 11 p.m. during a downpour in the area.

He said the kidnappers had yet to make contact.

State Police Public Relations Officer Wasiu Abiodun confirmed the incident to NAN and promised to provide more details later.

The state governor’s chief press secretary, Mary Noel-Berje, also confirmed this development in a statement on Monday.

“The commissioner was reportedly kidnapped by bandits around one in the morning at his home in the village of Baban Tunga in the local government of Tafa.

“The security agencies, however, are already lagging behind the bandits to apprehend them,” the official said.

PREMIUM TIME reported that Niger is one of the states in northern Nigeria most affected by the scourge of mass kidnappings and kidnappings for ransom. Since the end of last year, bandits have broken into schools in parts of the state and kidnapped hundreds of students and their teachers and regularly block highways to kidnap passengers, their favorite target being the commuter buses from which they capture dozens of passengers at a time.

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