Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and presently Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, yesterday, told the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, that his state Katsina, which is also where President Muhammadu Buhari comes from was under severe attacks by bandits and kidnappers, leaving 10 out of the 34 local government areas of the state vulnerable.
Masari, expressed worry over the prevailing security challenges in the state, affirmed that the deteriorating spate of banditry accompanied by kidnapping, raping of innocent women and armed robbery on the state’s highways, were afflicting his government’s effort of restoring peace and normalcy in the state.
Receiving Yahaya at the Government House, Katsina, Masari said both residents and security agencies must work together to up the ante in the war against bandits, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state. He said the military and other security agencies in Nigeria needed logistics support and manpower to tackle banditry, kidnapping and other insecurity challenges confronting the nation, particularly in the North-west region of the country.
He, however, called for the deployment of modern technology to tackle insecurity in the country, saying the world has gone into the era of technology, adding that, “with technology, you can fight your war with minimum number of personnel.”
The governor continued, “We, here in Katsina, if we say we are very happy, we are not being honest. We are disturbed with this issue of banditry accompanied with kidnaping, raping of innocent women, armed robbery on our highways. I want technology to be properly deployed to rarely bring this banditry activities under control.
“We are not deceiving ourselves that we will eliminate criminality; it has never been done before, it cannot be done today, rather, can it be done tomorrow, but we can bring it under control in such a way that it does not disturb the way of life of people as we are seeing today.
“10 out of 34 Local Governments in Katsina State are under severe bandits attacks daily. So, with that in mind, there is no way we can sleep. Our phones are permanently on to hear what is happening in local governments. Before breakfast, I am being briefed about what happened last night. So, General, we are not in a very comfortable situation, but we thank God”.
According to him, the era of blame game and media entertainment was over, what the nation needed was to put necessary machinery in place, to bring back normalcy in fragile states that would give government the opportunity to rarely do what it was supposed to be done.
He added: “We are very much concerned because the purpose of governance is being seriously challenged. The purpose of governance is protecting lives, property, honour and dignity of people but when it’s under attack, then, the entire system is under attack”.
To stem the tide, he said, the state government had amended the local government laws and created a three-tiers security structures across the 34 local government areas and 361 wards of the state in order to restore the roles of traditional, religious, youths and women leaders in fighting insecurity across the state.
Earlier, Yahaya, told the governor that he was in Katsina State on operational visit to inspect military units and forms under 8-division of the Nigerian Army, vowing to work with other sister security agencies to curb insecurity in the state.