Sunday, 12 January 2020

Why Bandits Are Attacking My State...Katsina Gov

Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari said the peace deal reached with repentant bandits that restored relative peace across communities in the state is intact and has not collapsed. He said the resurgence of banditry was from some of the recalcitrant criminals who did not join the peace deal.

The governor explained that the resurgence is also as a result of connivance by some residents and smugglers who invite bandits to carry out operations.  Speaking with newsmen over the resurgence of “banditry across the state, Masari said for the avoidance of doubt, the peace process has not collapsed.” According to him, whatever the imagination of some people, their conclusion, the peace process is on course and is achieving results.

 He explained that: “When we started this process in 2016, what was on ground then were cattle rustling. Around 2018 going to 2019, we saw resurgence of invasion, banditry, kidnapping and rape. When we started exactly on August 30, we saw the reduction and stoppage of invasion of villages and communities by bandits. What followed was kidnapping. And kidnapping is happening all over Nigeria not only in Katsina State.” The governor stressed that the resurgence of kidnapping has to do with connivance of local thieves and people residing in communities. “A Fulani man or herder who lives in the forest does not know where you and I live in this town.

So the criminality has now come to the cities, towns and semi-urban centres where they are inviting some of the bandits to come and kidnap for ransom,” he said. Governor Masari further noted that “criminals in the towns are more deadly than the herders in the forest for they are the ones inviting them. How can somebody who lives in the forest of Damburu in Zamfara State know the places of where we live? And you ask yourselves, how many times have you heard about burglary? It has reduced because some of the burglars and criminals have now turned to be informants and also part of the kidnapping syndicate.”

On why some local governments like Batsari and Jibia are worst hit of recent bandits’ attacks, Masari said “the problem we are having, like somebody said about Batsari and Jibia, simply because those leaders who live in the forest of Zamfara, who are very close to Batsari and Jibia, did not join the peace deal. Gang leaders like Dan Karami, and to some extent Dangote, did not.” According to the governor, “as far as we are concerned, our peace effort is on course. Yes, we are having challenges. We expect to have challenges, no doubt about it.

And our biggest challenge, we can control our border by 70 percent of the bandits crossed over from Zamfara State. Ninety percent of the notorious ones who refused to embrace peace live in Zamfara not in Katsina. We have our own number one gang leader, Dangote, who resides in Katsina State. We know where his camp is and we’ve sent a word. We are determined. We have a responsibility, we are not afraid, neither are we ready to shy away from that responsibility.”

Asked if the North-West will establish similar security outfit like that in the South-West, Masari said “We have a lot to learn from other areas. We do not claim to have monopoly of knowledge or wisdom. Certainly, I have been following up with what is happening in the South-West, and in the North-West. I will call for a meeting and look at the situation.

“We’ve agreed to have a common approach which I do believe those states that are more affected, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna are doing. You know this issue of banditry at the time we started, Jigawa and Kano, was not as rampant as we were having in the four states, even though Kano had their own share through Falgore forest. Definitely, we’ll learn from them and see what they have done and see how we can borrow some parts of what they have to see how we can improve our situation,” he added.


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