A former Assistant Director with the Department of State Services, Mr. Dennis Amachree, has given reasons why security agencies can’t attack the base of bandits disturbing some areas of the north. According to him, the army can’t hit the Niger bandits specifically because of possible collateral damage.
He has also in the same breath dismissed claims that the security agencies are ignorant of the location of the bandits. He especially said that the agencies know the location of those holding the 42 persons abducted from the Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger State.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday, he said the security agents are aware of their base
He said “The security agencies are very much aware because if you remember, when Gumi went to see these bandits, remember there was a military post there and they asked everybody to drop their guns and even if they are policemen they should stay at the military post before they come to the camp where they are.
“That means the military themselves know that there are some people out there, 700 strong or 600 strong in there. So, it is not a matter of they don’t know. I think they know but you know, you just don’t jump into 700 fully armed people because the tactics have to be planned properly to handle things like that.”
According to him the army can’t hit the Niger bandits because of the consideration of avoiding collateral damage.
He added, “When you see bandits like that if their number is large, you will decide whether you want to get reinforcement to move in there. Then secondly, sometimes they have hostages with them and the hostages then become human shields for them.
“So, if you go in there, there will be a lot of collateral damage. So, these are the considerations. I am not currently in the theatre of what is happening there. So, I don’t know what the commanders of that area are doing but I can tell you they are not just sitting down.”