Following incessant acts of banditry on communities, Katsina State lawmakers have faulted the peace deal recently brokered by the state government with bandits.
The lawmakers took the position at an emergency sitting and urged the government to overhaul existing strategies and policies on ways of combating banditry and other related crimes.
On his part, the Governor, Malam Aminu Bello Masari, expressed frustration over increasing bandits’ attacks on communities.
Masari spoke when he received the Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Leo Irabor, who was in the state on a courtesy visit.
“I am in a confused situation considering the terrible condition our people in the villages bordering the forest are going through.”
“Yesterday (Tuesday), the Divisional Police Officer of Faskari Local Government Area was nearly killed. He is presently at the orthopaedic hospital receiving treatment for the two gunshot injuries he sustained and we hope he will survive the injuries,” the governor said.
“In a village in Sabuwa Local Government Area, five people were killed and all their animals rustled. The head of the Danmusa Local Government Area, who comes from Sabuwa was also kidnapped alongside his son.
“Two weeks ago, we lost over 50 people. The bandits now carry out violence on a daily basis. People are losing confidence in us and are threatening to take to arms. Yesterday (Tuesday) around 3.00 a.m., I had to plead with the traditional leaders of Faskari because they had concluded and mobilised to fight back.
“We are in a very serious and desperate situation. As the rainy season approaches, even those who can access their farms cannot because of the activities of bandits who have now taken over major parts of the state,” he stressed.
In April Humangle reported on how the ban on vigilante activities was creating tension in the villages of Zamfara and Katsina states.
A native who escaped the attack in Faskari last week, said: “since the governors (in the northwest) have tried their best in getting these armed criminals to lay down their arms and they are refusing to, they shouldn’t have banned Vigilantes by our local people. It was a hasty and unthoughtful decision, which is why they’re confused now.”
Meanwhile, sources in Katsina and Sabon Birni area of Sokoto State say there has been increased presence of destabilised armed groups from Zamfara in the communities due to recent sustained military operations in the last few weeks.
They said there was an urgent need to address the emerging challenge otherwise it might disrupt the economy of the area and destabilse the entire northwest region.