- Katsina state government is no more willing to negotiate with bandits and abductors who cause harm to innocent citizens
- The commissioner for security matters, Ibrahim Ahmed Katsina, reaffirmed this position on Thursday, August 19
- Katsina said the bandits betrayed the government by returning to criminality after getting amnesty
The Katsina state government has disclosed that paying ransoms to bandits and kidnappers is a waste of efforts and public funds.
According to the state's commissioner for security matters, Ibrahim Ahmed Katsina, the government at a time offered amnesty to abductors and armed criminals but along the line, it did not work because they went back to their evil activities.
Katsina told Leadership on Thursday, August 19, that the betrayal was part of what necessitated Governor Aminu Bello Masari's call to the people for self-defence.
He noted that the state government will rather buy arms and get licences from the police for the people than pay ransoms for abductions.
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The commissioner added:
“The situation is under control and what His Excellency the governor said is a normal call which is backed by the Police Act. You know, even if you kill somebody in self-defense, the law would not hold you accountable or responsible.
“And this is just history repeating itself because the governor is not the first to advise people to defend themselves. When you ask people to do that, there are legal ways to do it. Even the governor clarified today that those who arm themselves would be registered by the police so that they can be properly monitored.”
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Meanwhile, the call for self-defence to Katsina residents by Governor Masari had been backed by some northern socio-cultural groups, one of which is the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).
The organisation said Masari was right to urge his people to take up arms against bandits and kidnappers, adding that not all weapons are illegal for citizens, especially those which come with police permits.
ACF's national publicity secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, who spoke on Wednesday, August 18, argued that local hunters were among those who are allowed to carry guns.