Kano mulls vigilantes, converts dreaded forest to military base
Apparently due to killings in parts of the federation by nomads and the resurgence of the Boko Haram terrorist sect, the Kano government is to establish a Neighborhood Watch in the state.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who dropped the hint at the weekend in Abuja, noted that a bill in that respect was being prepared for presentation to the House of Assembly.
He said the Falgore Forest, notorious for kidnapping, cattle rustling and other criminal acts, had been converted to a military training ground.
Reiterating his desire to sustain the peace in the state, Ganduje stated that he was able to tackle cattle rustlers and kidnappers through the empowerment of herdsmen’s children and acquisition of modern security equipment.
His words: “Yes, when we came in, it was the hay days of Boko Haram and so, we had to work round the clock with security agents. I think what is important is the coordination among the security agencies. That helped a lot in improving the security situation.
“There was a good coordination among the security agencies and communities and that brought out a lot of information from the communities. I am sure you heard that a lot of Boko Haram commanders were arrested in Kano because it was a good hiding place for them, as a mega city where you can easily blend among others.
“With modern gadgets, the security agents were able to fish them out. We are working hand in hand with the communities.
“Also, we have addressed the problem of cattle rustling and we discovered that the Fulani themselves were part of the problem because they were also snatching cattle from their brothers. We sat down with them and I was able to provide them with some empowerment. Since we entered into that agreement, we have not heard any issue of cattle rustling in Kano.
“We have the Falgore Forest, which is as big as the Sambissa Forest in Borno State. I told the President that I wanted the military to use the place for training and he agreed and I also met with the Chief of Army Staff and he agreed and right now, the military is using the place for training. The state government will contribute to the development of some facilities in the forest to make it a permanent training ground.
“The issue of kidnapping has also reduced. We are, also working with the security agents to enact a law setting up a neigbourhood security which will include all the stakeholders in order to maintain peace and stability in the affected areas.
“We have bought a number of vehicles for the security agents and held meetings to access the situation on ground. We will continue to pray because sometimes, it is the issue of accident, which you cannot avoid.”