The district head of Batsari (Sarkin-Ruman Katsina) in Katsina State, Tukur Mu’azu Ruma, has said bandits fleeing from the onslaught in neighbouring Zamfara and Kaduna states are infiltrating and taking over farming communities in Batsari local government area of Katsina State.
According to him, the current onslaught is causing hardship and starvation for the bandits in the neighbouring states, forcing them to ransack communities within his chiefdom to seize foodstuff and other valuables belonging to innocent residents of the area.
Speaking with journalists at his palace in Batsari, he said many farmers in the local government were not harvesting their crops due to the activities of the bandits, and in some areas the bandits are the one doing the harvest instead.
He said the bandits displaced by security agencies in Zamfara State had formed different enclaves in communities bordering Runka forest and other adjoining forests in the area from where they come out daily to attack innocent citizens at the night, especially along Batsari-Jibia road.
He recalled the recent invasion of Yasore community where 11 farmers were killed and many were injured by the fleeing bandits.
“As a result of security measures taken against the bandits by the state government, especially the shutdown of telecommunication services, the bandits are suffering from starvation so they are attacking our communities and stealing foodstuff from residents.
“Recently, they attacked the Yasore community and killed 11 farmers, burnt their silos and houses. After the attack, the criminals stopped those who survived the invasion from accessing their farms in order to harvest their crops.
“Now, they (bandits) are the ones harvesting their sesame, millets, maize, guinea corn and other crops. It is sad that these bandits killed people in the community and they can’t allow those that survived to harvest their crops. I have informed security agencies of the ugly development,” he said.
Apart from Yasore, he said farmers in Duba, Sabon-garin Dunburawa, Bakin-ragi and Labo communities were facing similar security challenges as according to him residents are finding it difficult to harvest their crops.
He therefore called for the deployment of more security personnel to the area to tackle banditry and enable farmers to harvest their crops.
He however said the Security Containment Order signed by Governor Aminu Bello Masari, to tackle banditry in the state was yielding results.
The Sarkin-Ruman Katsina added that the Masari-led administration had been able to fight banditry by suspending telecommunication services in 13 local governments, saying the move had helped to cut off communication between the bandits and their informants.