Barely 24 hours after Governor Bello Masari of Katsina raised the alarm on the invasion of the state by armed bandits from neighbouring Zamfara, the state authorities has expressed doubts if the ultimate elections scheduled to start out with the presidential polls subsequent month will keep in parts of the state as a result of precarious security state of affairs all through some eight native authorities areas.
Katsina beneath siege of bandits – Gov Masari
Governor Masari had ultimate Wednesday alerted the nation, on the opening ceremony of an emergency security meeting on the Government House, that armed robbers and kidnappers had truly taken over Katsina State as he consequently tagged the state unsafe for anybody along with him.
Briefing reporters on Thursday evening, on among the many deliberations on the meeting, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Mustapha Mohammed Inuwa, warned that till the protection state of affairs is addressed the elections may not keep in not lower than eight native authorities areas of the state.
Described as frontline areas managed by bandits and cattle rustlers, the native authorities areas are, Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Dan-Musa, Faskari, Sabuwa, Dandume, Kankara and parts of Kafur, Masari’s native authorities. Jibia shares “porous” boundaries with the Republic of Niger, routes actions of unrepentant smugglers thrive with widespread bloody clashes with joint security patrol teams from Nigeria and Niger. Apart from this, the native governments have a typical denominator governing them as they’re all linked with the Rugu forest, talked about to be some 2010 sq. kilometres stretch, starting from the Republic of Niger, by the use of to Katsina and parts of Kaduna State.
Comparable solely to the dreaded Sambisa forest in Borno State, Rugu forest is reportedly a comfort zone for bandits and totally different authorized components who apparently exploit the terrain to remain nearly out of attain of the protection forces.
According to Mustapha, “certainly, if the situation continues this way, it is going to affect the elections. If you ask INEC officials to go and conduct the elections in the affected areas they may not be willing to go there. We have to safeguard the places before the elections.”
The expanded security council meeting had typical rulers, security chiefs inside the state, interim native council chairmen from the affected native authorities areas, village heads and non secular leaders, amongst others in attendance. Mustapha talked about that the meeting resolved to spice up a committee which he heads, to take a look at all the issues talked about and type out them.
As he put it, “I hope you could be all acutely aware of the measures this authorities has been taking in coping with the protection state of affairs inside the state. We have archived relatively loads notably inside the house of cattle rustling and banditry. We have been ready to curtail the problem of chateau rustling to an affordable degree and banditry to to some extent as a result of measures taken by authorities. Unfortunately, a couple of weeks once more, the problem of kidnapping turned so important to a degree that the experience we had over cattle rustling turned a toddler’s play.
“The meeting acknowledged lack of synergy among the many many security forces combating bandits in Zamfara Kaduna and Katsina states. We agreed that these states and the Republic of Niger ought to come collectively to type out this disadvantage headlong. The meeting moreover acknowledged that the protection is grossly inadequate notably the police and subsequently mandated the governor to solicit the assistance of the Inspector-General of Police to increase the police personnel and equip them with fashionable gear.
“We may also have to de-gazzete some of the frontline areas where these activities take place, particularly the forests close the urban centres in the state. Those places were initially designed to be grazing areas for livestock but the criminals have turned them to their hiding place. The Emirs of Katsina and Daura as well as the ulama will be involved in this and we urge them not only to intensify their prayers but to equally continually appeal to their subjects to fear God.”
Analysing the protection state of affairs inside the state, an apparently embattled Masari had knowledgeable people on the meeting on Wednesday that, “no one, including myself, is safe, I am not safe.” He ranked cattle rustling amount three on his guidelines of acts of prevailing threats to security of lives and property inside the state, noting that kidnaping and armed theft have taken the centre stage.
According to the governor, “our state is currently under serious siege, by bandits, kidnappers, with castle rustlers taking the third position. Kidnaping is now the order of the day in Katsina State. Armed robbery is also now the order of the day in Katsina State. Only two days ago, some people left my residence at about 3am and when they got to the Ring Road area, a gang of of about five fully armed men robbed them at gunpoint. So, this is how bad it has become now. All the security reports I received today (Wednesday) is either about kidnapings or armed robbery. So, our state is under siege and that is why we decided to call for this extra-ordinary meeting. No one, including myself is safe. A woman, I was told, was abducted by kidnappers and after demanding N5 million they shot the person who took the money to them.”
The Zamfara Connection
The eight most affected native governments in Katsina share boundaries with Zamfara State the place armed banditry presently reigns supreme, according to opinions. Traveling on the 150-kilometre Jibia – Gusua freeway by the use of Kaura Namoda has develop to be nightmarish for motorists as bandits proceed to reap commuters and abduct them into the shut by forests spherical Gidan Jaja, Chabas and Yan Bedi, all close to Katsina.
According a present report, victims whose relations often will not be ready to pay the ransom demanded are butchered and supplied as spare parts to herbalists.
Last week, some 2000 people, according to the Katsina State Emergency Management Agency, fled their communities in Zamfara and presently taking refuge at assorted areas in Kankara native authorities house of Katsina.
Until simply currently, bandits had found fertile ground in parts of Katsina State with hoodlums embarking on bloody raids on numerous communities in Safana, Batsari, Jibia, Danmusa, Kurfi, Dutsima, Kankakara, Dandume, Faskari and Sabuwa native authorities areas.
It’s administration failure, PDP claims
Reacting to the Masari outcry, the first opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina State urged every Masari and President Buhari to step aside, having failed, according to the social gathering, to produce the required security for residents. According to the PDP Chairman who may be the social gathering’s governorship working mate, Alhaji Salisu Majigiri, “this is a confession from the Chief Security Officer of the state and I think the best thing Masari can do is to take the path of honour and step aside as governor. His resignation will pave way for Katsina not to continue to be under siege.”