Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Residents of Dutsin-Ma Local Government of Katsina State have lamented the nefarious activities of hoodlums suspected to be bandits in the area even as they claimed villages in the area remained unsafe.
The residents said the level of insecurity in the area was still disturbing despite heavily armed security personnel deployed to the state by federal government and the rapprochement between government and bandits.
They expressed concern about what they termed deteriorating security situation of the local government in separate interviews with THISDAY in the area friday, alleging that communities in the area were still unsafe for inhabitants.
A resident, Sogiji Ganiyu, said the level of insecurity in the local government was compounding by the day in spite of presence of security operatives in the area.
He said: “We don’t know what police and other security operatives are doing here. On December 17, 2019 bandits attacked the staff quarters of Government Science Secondary School, Dutsin-Ma and kidnapped the school teacher, his wife, daughter and the wife’s sister.
“Their abductors called some days ago demanding for N10 million as ransom, where can we get this huge among of money to rescue these people? We are calling on state government to come to our aid if not the people (bandits) they granted amnesty will finish us.” Another resident who pleaded anonymity said: “Even yesterday (Thursday) at about 2:12.a.m bandits on motorcycles invaded Kanawa Village and kidnapped Alhaji Kanti and his wife, Hajiya Zabi at their farm. They also attacked Karofi Village that same night where they robbed residents of their belongings.”
He added: “The bandits also attacked Zabuwa Village of Safana Local Government, which shared boundary with Dutsin-Ma and rustled 20 cattle and seven rams belonging to residents. It was police that later intervened if not the bandits would have sack the village”.
The source alleged that despite the peace agreement between government and the bandits, the hoodlums had been launching fresh onslaught on villages in the area “and no action has been taken by government”.
According to him, “Even when they (bandits) attack communities, government don’t sympathise with the victims that is why we think there is something hidden”.
Consequently, the source called on the state government and security agencies to adopt proactive measures to retrieve what he described as sophisticated weapons in the hands of the repentant bandits to restore peace in the state.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah feigned ignorance of recent attacks in the local government, saying “I have not been briefed by the DPO of Dutsin-Ma”.