Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has expressed worries that communities living on the borders of Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states were under persistent attacks by armed bandits across Nigeria and Niger Republic.
However, the governor notes that something has to be done urgently by the military to avert further carnage around the communities. He was speaking when he received the multinational field commanders of the Nigerian Army and its Niger Republic counterpart at Government House Katsina. He appreciated them for coming out with the new guideline to fight against banditry, urging the soldiers to intensify efforts before the full commencement of the rainy season so as to enable farmers return to their farms.
“My simple advice is that something has to be done before the full commencement of rainy season, because during the rainy season under the cover of vegetation, dealing with these bandits will be difficult. Again, there will be opportunity for them to regroup in the forest because by then the forest will have sufficient water and grasses,”Masari said.
He indicates that the Northwest governors would soon meet in Sokoto with the governor of Maradi Region and any neighbouring governor, to review agreements reached during their meeting which was held in the region two years ago, to see what the political leaders need to do to improve security situations of both countries.
Similarly, the governor also played host to the new General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Usman Abdulmumuni Yusuf, at Government House in Katsina, where he urged him not to be deterred by accusations and criticisms of some Nigerians, but intensify efforts in carrying out their operational mandates to restore peace to the Northwest region.
The governor who also lamented on the activities of informants in the region, disguising as patent medicine store operators and drug vendors, says that they must be prudently monitored and fished out.
He pinpointed the business transactions on going at motorcycle selling points, especially local markets in the region, which he also called for proper monitoring, with a view to identifying the type of people coming to make purchases.
Governor Masari reiterated that the drug peddlers, operators of patent medicine stores, as well as the informants and people selling motorcycles at local markets, are major contributory agents to the incessant banditry attacks and other forms of crimes in the region.
The governor therefore called on the military personnel to work closely with traditional rulers and local vigilante members, to expose bandits and other criminal elements within the communities, promising that the government would continue to commit itself to whatever is required in ensuring restoration of peace to the state and Northwest region.
Earlier the New GOC 8 Division, Sokoto Major Gen Usman Abdulmumuni Yusuf, states they were at the Government House to officially inform the governor of his resumption as officer in charge of the division.
He however, traced back the origin of banditry from Libya to Niger Republic down to northern Nigeria, ensuring the division’s readiness to wipe out the nefarious activities of the hoodlums.
Maj Gen Yusuf, who is also heading the operation Hadarin daji, disclosed that they were mandated by the Defence Headquarters to collaborate with their counterpart, military personnel from Niger Republic for joint operations against the bandits.
Katsina Grants Bail To 270 Inmates
The Katsina Chief Judge, Justice Musa Danladi Abubakar has granted bail to over two hundred and seventy (270) inmates awaiting trial at the state correctional centre. The Chief Judge revealed this recently at the end of his inspection tour to assess facilities at the state correctional centre. He noted that most of the inmates released are those awaiting trial and also those whose offences were not proved.
He explained that the reason for the tour to the correctional centres was to decongest the facilities in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic and other related diseases.
He then thanked the ministry of Justice, other stakeholders as well as the Nigeria Correctional Service, the Nigeria Police and the civil society organisation for taking care of facilities and suspects in the centres.
The CJ also promised that no innocent person would henceforth be detained to answer an offence not committed, hoping that the security challenges the state is facing would soon be overcome.