Why North West must be rid of bandits now, by Masari
Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari has warned that the lingering security situation in the North West region can trigger external influence on local bandits, if not ended immediately.
Masari said though most of the bandits in the state and elsewhere in the region were illiterate, they were however not immune to actions of sophisticated groups that might want to extend their territories.He, therefore, called on the military and other security agencies to rise to the occasion by speedily ending banditry and related ills in the region.
The governor was speaking yesterday when he received the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, at the Government House, Katsina. According to him, a thorough operation that will completely wipe out the bandits in Rugu and other forests in the region is paramount for an end to the frequent of killings, kidnapping and animal rustling.
He recalled that Fulani herdsmen used to pride in having large number of cattle, but that the ones in the forests pride in cache of AK-47 rifles. After an amnesty programme for bandits broke down, the bandits converted schools and clinics constructed by government into their operational camps, he lamented.
However, the governor enthused that recent security operations in some areas of the state had begun to clear such camps, forcing the bandits to flee back into the forests. Government, he assured, would, within its limited resources, continue to support and complement efforts of the military to tackle the security situation in the state.
Meanwhile, Buratai disclosed that this year’s Army Day celebration would hold in Faskari Council of the state. He said initial plan was for the event to hold in Plateau State, but that it was later decided that Katsina would host it on July 6. The military chief said he would be in the state for some days to coordinate and supervise operations in Rugu forest and beyond.
He assured the governor that the operation would rid the forests of bandits, even as he commended government’s support to military operations in the state.The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division of the Nigeria Army, Sokoto, Brig-Gen. Aminu Bande, and other senior military officers from the army headquarters accompanied Buratai on the trip.