Francis Sardauna in Katsina
A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CCSOs) in Katsina State has faulted the federal and state governments over what it described as the poor handling of the deteriorating insecurity orchestrated by marauding bandits in the state.
Consequently, the coalition said both the federal and state governments have failed “woefully” in securing the lives and property of Katsina citizens.
The coalition Chairman and Special Adviser to Katsina State Government on Higher Education, Mr. Muhammad Ruwangodiya, who briefed journalists on the security situation of the state yesterday, said the government’s efforts in tackling security challenges in the state were grossly inadequate.
He said: “In view of the state’s security situation, the coalition wishes to strongly express its dismay by the way federal and state governments are not living up to their constitutional responsibility as enshrined in the constitution section 14 (2) of protecting lives and property of the people of Katsina State; especially the federal government being the tier that has control over the security institutions and machinery of the country.”
He added that the resurgence of banditry and other nefarious activities in the state had forced thousands of residents to flee their ancestral homes to take refuge in places perceived to be safer.
“Currently, in addition to the eight frontline local governments of Batsari, Jibia, Danmusa, Safana, Sabuwa Kankara, Dandume and Faskari, the menace has escalated to Dutsinma, Kurfi, Batagarawa, Rimi, Danja, Kafur, Matazu, Kaita, Malumfashi and Katsina.
“Worse hit of recent after the dialogue and amnesty are the councils of Jibia and Dutsin-Ma, where hardly a day goes by without a reported attack. Within the last 30 days for instance, 26 attacks were recorded,” he said.
According to him, “Should this situation continue, the people would be left with no option than to take law into their hands to protect themselves. This may spell doom for the future of security in the state.”
He argued that the rapprochement between state government and the bandits was initiated in good faith, but it became efficient for a while “because it was neither professional nor built on any defined framework.”
He said the suspension of vigilante groups by the state government has created an avenue for the bandits to wreck their havoc at will, calling on government to revisit its stand on the suspension with a view to streamlining them to function effectively and professionally.
He, therefore, said both federal and state governments must live up to their responsibility by efficiently utilising security apparatus and modern technology to address the insecurity across the state within the soonest possible time.