- The Katsina state government has expressed concern about the rate of kidnappings, killings and banditry in the state
- Aminu Masari, the governor of the state, said on Thursday, August 5, that 30% of the state has been taken over by the bandits
- Masari, however, called on the citizens of the state to assist the security agencies in tackling the incessant banditry in the state
Katsina, Katsina - Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina has said that at least 10 out of the 34 local government areas of the state are under siege of bandits and other criminal elements.
Daily Sun reports that the governor, who disclosed this on Thursday, August 5, in Katsina when the Cheif of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Farouk Yahaya visited him in his office, said the residents of the state could not sleep with their two eyes closed.
Legit.ng gathered that Masari stated that he and his people are disturbed by this issue of banditry, kidnappings, armed robbery, saying that they record at least one or two incidents every day.
"With this situation in mind, there is no way we can sleep. If we say we are happy here in Katsina, then we are not being honest. We are disturbed by this issue of banditry, with kidnappings, armed robbery as every day, we record at least one or two incidents.
“But we thank God because if you compare the current situation with what was obtainable about six months ago, there is progress in restoring the situation to normalcy."
Security agencies alone can't end banditry, insurgency in Nigeria
Speaking on how to tackle the situation, Masari urged all the stakeholders to come together, adding that the security issue is not only the business of security agencies but a collective responsibility.
Daily Trust also reports that the governor noted that the bandits are people who have been living peacefully with their neighbours for centuries, stressing that somewhere along the line, something went wrong.
“We can overcome the situation and restore normalcy to our communities but this can only be possible with the cooperation of everybody including media operators. If we want to depend solely on the security agencies, how many are they, compared to the population and the sheer size of Nigeria.
“We have amended our local government laws by creating a three-tier security system starting from the ward level in order to include local leaders and restore the roles of the village and district heads, the imams and other community leaders and bring everybody on board, to help the security agencies."
In his remarks, the COAS told the governor that he was on an operational visit to the state to interact with the troops in order to know their challenges.
He said the visit was also to seek the continued support of the state government and commend him for his logistic and equipment support.
Yahaya assured that the military would continue to work with other security agencies in the state to ensure relative peace.
Bandits kidnap Zamfara speaker's father, stepmother, 4 others
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that bandits in Zamfara dealt a heavy blow to the government on Wednesday, August 4, as they succeeded in kidnapping family members of the state Assembly's speaker, Nasiru Magarya.
It was reported that the armed criminals raided Magarya's hometown in the afternoon of Wednesday and unleashed terror on residents while they are observing Muslim prayers.
The bandits kidnapped the speaker's father, stepmother, and four other persons in their evil operation.