- IG vows to bring perpetrators to book
By Francis Sardauna in Katsina
No fewer than 23 people have been killed, while many shops, houses and vehicles were set ablaze as bandits, again, attacked Sabuwa Local Government and Garin-Magaji village in Batsari Local Government of Katsina State.
The fresh onslaught on Sabuwa, according to a source in the local government, was launched at about 4 a.m on Tuesday by the bandits, allegedly dressed in military uniform and armed with AK47 rifles and machetes, shooting sporadically.
But the state police command only confirmed the attack on Sabuwa Local Government, saying 10 people were killed during the invasion.
The source said: “The attackers stormed Sabuwa and they were shooting indiscriminately and everybody started running into the bush. They killed 18 people and injured few others. Some of the bandits were wearing military uniforms. I saw them from where I was hiding.”
He said the police arrived the scene after the bandits had fled into the bush, adding that: “Instead of pursuing the bandits who ran into the bush, they just turned back to their divisional state.”
The source however urged security agencies to reinforce their presence in Sabuwa with the aim of stopping further attacks and fishing out perpetrators of the heinous crime, adding that ferocious attacks on Katsina communities call for the urgent attention of government and the international community.
Confirming the Garin-Magaji attack to THISDAY on Wednesday, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Batsari Local Government, Mannir Mu’azu, said the bandits killed five persons, injured 10 and set ablaze numerous houses and vehicles belonging to residents, adding that those who survived the attacks scampered for safety.
“Yesterday another tragedy happened in Batsari Local Government. Bandits numbering about 10 attacked Garin-Magaji in the night and killed five persons. They also set ablaze many houses, shops and burnt many vehicles in the village,” he said.
However, the Katsina State Police Command through its spokesperson, SP Gambo Isah, said only 10 persons were feared dead and their corpses were recovered, adding that six of the corpses were identified to be members of the civilian JTF, while the remaining four were yet to be identified as of press time.
Meanwhile, the acting Inspector General Police (IG) Muhammed Abubakar Adamu Wednesday paid a visit to Katsina State and vowed to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime in the state and other states bedevilled with banditry.
Adamu, while in audience with the state Deputy Governor Mannir Yakubu, said he was in the state to ascertain the security challenges confronting the state, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed him to clear the bandits in the affected states.
He said: “We felt it is important that we visit you to look into the security challenges in the North-west in general and Katsina State in particular. The activities of bandits is a source of concern to Mr. President and he has given us instructions to make sure that we clear these bandits and kidnappers through whatever means.
“For us to be able to do the job perfectly, we need the cooperation of the people of Katsina State. By this I mean the law enforcement agencies will not be able to do it alone. We know that the bandits have their camps somewhere in the forest. Our strategy is to take this fight to the bandits. We will identify their camps, destroy the camps, get them arrested and occupy their camps.”
Responding, the Deputy Governor Yakubu assured the IG that the state government would continue to support the security agencies to discharge their duties effectively.
During the visit, the IG visited Batsari, one of the eight local governments where he charged his men and officers to rekindle their efforts in order to find a lasting solution to the predicament.