Katsina State governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, has explained why he asked people of the state to bear arms and defend themselves against bandits terrorizing the state rather than paying ransom.
The governor said citizens could not fold their arms and allow the bandits to be killing them unnecessarily since there were no adequate security personnel to guard every community.
Masari, who stated in an interview aired on Nagarta Radio, Kaduna and monitored by our correspondent, lamented that despite the state government’s effort towards protecting the citizens, hardly a day passed without innocent people getting killed or abducted by bandits.
He also lamented that the state government tried its best to negotiate and reach an agreement with the bandits in the past but failed.
He said, “It failed because we discovered that the bandits groups lack a central leader among them. There was no single leader to caution them because they are not fighting a particular ideological cause rather than to steal. They are groups of kidnappers and bandits. Most times in a group, you find not less than 10 members scattered in the forest.
“We also know that there are not enough security personnel. How many soldiers are there in Katsina and this is because this insecurity affected virtually all states of the federation. This compounded the problem and people cannot fold their hands and watch themselves being killed. If they abandon their villages,where will they go and when will the killings end?”
Masari was, however, thankful to God for the improvement in the security situation but stressed that normalcy had not returned totally.
“It’s very important for the people to rise up and support the government effort. Apart from the money we are spending on security, hardly a day passes by without a person being killed or kidnapped. No single day, although the situation is not as bad as it was last year. We thank God for that but normalcy has not yet completely returned because just a few days ago about 10 people were killed in a village, how can you as a leader be okay with this situation?” he said.