Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari has said the state is under siege, and that he is also not safe.
The governor said kidnappers and bandits had taken over the state. He spoke in Katsina yesterday during an extra ordinary security meeting he summoned over the raging insecurity in the state.
“Katsina is under serious siege by kidnappers and bandits, even me as a governor I’m not safe”, the governor said.
Speaking before the meeting went into closed doors, Masari lamented that kidnapping and armed robbery were the order of the day in the state as “they have taken over cattle rustling which is now third”.
He said: “Only two days ago, some people left my residence and around 2am on this very ring road around Kwado area, a gang of five fully armed men robbed them at a gunpoint, this is how bad it is.
“ Today (yesterday), from the security reports I received from the state director of SSS, all the reports showed, except one, kidnapping and armed robbery.
“So, our state is under siege and it is growing, that is why we decided to call for this meeting.
“No one, not even myself, is safe, this is the situation. In front of this house (Government House), five electric poles were stolen.
“This is a bad situation that we all cannot fold our arms any longer. even if this meeting will take us midnight, we must find a solution today.
“A woman, I was just told, was picked and after demanding N5m, they (kidnappers) shot the person who took the money to them.
“We have seen the worst before, we can get out of this now also. We must work together to find a solution of who is to do what, when, where and how.
“Finding a way out we must, there is no option because we are talking about our survival as a state and people”.
Daily Trust reports that the meeting was attended by heads of security agencies in the state as well as traditional and religious leaders.
…Recent cases of kidnapping and banditry in the state
On December 19, 2018, 20 persons from Illela town were reportedly kidnapped around Kwanar Rugu on their way back from a wedding ceremony. Two of the victims however escaped and one was shot.
On December 23, members of first aid group of Jamaatu Izalatul Bid’ah Wa’ikamatis Sunnah (JIBWIS) were kidnapped around Gurbi Baure along Jibia road. A N15m ransom on each of the abducted was said to have been demanded by the captors.
A 44-year-old Abu Na-Ma’azu was on December 30 kidnapped along the Maidabino-Yantumaki Road in Danmusa Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The victim, a motor vehicle lubricants’ seller at Dutsinma Motor Park, was returning home after attending a wedding ceremony in Maidabino village in company of friends.
…Traditional rulers, residents lament
A resident of Safana, Abdulsamad Rugu, said activities of these bandits and kidnappers were worrisome and called for concerted efforts on the part of government and security agencies to address the situation.
He said life was becoming unbearable for the people.
In a recent interview with Daily Trust, the village head of Tsaskiya, Kabir Nuhu, said most affected in his domain were the attached villages in the outskirts including Gobi, Karofa and Dogakara.
He said the main village had not recorded any, but those few neighbouring villages had and some victims were still in captivity, while others had run out.”
His Dabawa counterpart, Sada Kararem said at present, three of his subjects were in captivity, decrying that the situation was worrisome.
He suggested: “We have seen a great reduction in cattle rustling, but an increase in kidnapping; it is high time government looked into the possibility of sitting with these people so that it can be addressed as well’.
The spokesman of Katsina Police Command, Gambo Isah, said the command efforts included deployment of personnel from the Inspector General of Police Special forces, two units of CTU, three units of PMF as well as three units of conventional policemen being trained on special combat, all targeted at bandits and kidnappers.
He said the IGP task forces had arrested more than 100 suspected kidnappers, recovered more than 30 different arms, 10 of which were AK47 riffles.
“The operations is still ongoing in Safana, Jibia, Dutsinma, Malumfashi, Danmusa, Sabuwa, Dandume and Faskari local government areas of the state” he said.
He urged the government to acquire more patrol vehicles including armoured vehicles as the only operational one was in Daura.
“Ward heads, Miyetti Allah and vigilante groups should also collaborate in synergy with security agencies. They are the ones residing along with the people.
They should give us credible information; they should also fish out informers within their areas. Kidnapping cannot happen without information,” he said.
Meanwhile, the fear of kidnappers has forced motorists to abandon the 97km Jibia to Kaura Namoda Road.
A commuter, Sa’ad Jibia, said people now resorted to following the longer route of Kankara -Sheme to Gusau.
He listed Gidan Jaja, Yan Bedi and Dogon Karfe and Chabas – Chabas as some of the most dangerous spots on the route.
Special prayers for security are daily held in mosques across the state.
culled from Dailytrust