FG: 400 Assorted Weapons Recovered from Kidnappers

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Bashir Magash

Decries poor attitude to National ID scheme

Olawale Ajimotokan in Katsina

Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd), has revealed that security forces have recovered over 470 assorted weapons and 13,000 pieces of ammunition from kidnappers and bandits operating in the North-west geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

Magashi also said about 100 kidnappers and 24 bandits were arrested, while 500 captives were freed from their abductors.

He made this chilling revelation yesterday during the special Town hall meeting on security (banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping) held in Katsina.

The minister also disclosed that about 720,000 rustled animals were returned to their owners.

The 16th edition of the Town hall meeting coordinated by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was attended by the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, and his counterparts from Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, and Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal. Also at the meeting was the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.

The three northern governors lamented the effect of kidnapping on the social-economic lifestyle of the affected states.

Masari, who said his state had spent over N200 million fighting the challenge, appealed to the federal government to consider a security intervention funds for the affected states.

Muttawale, on his part, said the scale of cattle rustling had reduced in Zamfara State, the hotbed of the crisis, due to dialogue and initiation of projects.

He said the state had constructed rural settlements across the three senatorial zones, while the state also set up a high-powered committee headed by former Inspector General of Police (IG), Muhammad Abubakar, to initiate peace.

He added that 200 Hilux pick up vans were purchased, while the governors of Katsina and Sokoto States also had a joint security meeting with the military chiefs in Maradi, Niger Republic, to tackle insecurity in the zone.

Tambuwal, on his part, said Sokoto State had enacted a law binding on all landlords to register new tenants, who come to settle in the state and whose means of livelihood are not known.

“Our soldiers can’t handle these crises without proper kitting, and when their welfare is not taken into consideration. We can’t fight insecurity without recourse to technology. We must also address the unemployment of our teeming youths, as we will continue to have security challenges when they are unemployed,” Tambuwal said.

Meanwhile, Aregbesola has decried the refusal of Nigerians to enroll for the national identity scheme currently managed by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

The minister, who said 6,000 persons from the North-west zone were enlisted into the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCD)as agro rangers, noted that penchant of Nigerians to acquire multiple SIM network cards were also responsible for spike in kidnapping.

He said if there was commitment to the national ID card programme, kidnapping would have been curbed.

According to him, about 30 million Nigerians had registered for the National Identity Number (NIN) in relation to 180 million subscribers on mobile networks.

Mohammad said the town hall provided a platform for the government to regularly give account of its stewardship to the people and enhance citizens’ participation in governance.