Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Worried by the spate of banditry in Katsina State, the state government has issued a two-day ultimatum to bandits to be law-abiding or be quashed by the Nigerian Army.
The 48-hour ultimatum was issued due to the resurgence of banditry and other security challenges facing the state despite a peace deal between the bandits and the state government.
Arising from a closed-door security meeting yesterday, convened by repentant bandits to proffer remedies to the resurgence of banditry in Katsina, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, said the ultimatum became imperative considering pockets of attacks being experienced in some communities in the state.
The meeting, which lasted for about six hours, was called at the instance of all the state security chiefs and top government officials.
THISDAY reliably gathered that ‘Dangote’ and ‘Dankarami,’ who are the top leaders of the bandits and among those who refused the rapprochement between government and the hoodlums were absent during the meeting.
Inuwa noted with disappointment how some bandits refused to surrender and denounce banditry despite the agreement reached between them and the state government.
He said: “It is disheartening that despite the amnesty we granted them (bandits), some unrepentant ones among them are still kidnapping people in communities across the state.
“The only option left for them is to immediately cease fire, drop their arms and surrender or have themselves to blame in the next two days. Government would not hesitate to use the military power to dislodge them if they failed to comply with the directive.”
Governor Aminu Bello Masari had granted amnesty to bandits after a tour of Fulani settlements and enclaves of the bandits in Rugu Forest on September 4 to 9, 2019, during which the famed bandits and forest commanders denounced banditry.
The peace initiative was adopted by the governors of North-west states following a peace summit convened by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, in Katsina that facilitated discussions with representatives of the bandits from the affected states of Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Kaduna and Zamfara.