Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The Katsina State Governor, Mr. Aminu Bello Masari, has reiterated his administration’s readiness to eliminate unrepentant bandits that have been terrorising some communities in the state.
Masari admitted that the state was facing double tragedy from the COVID-19 pandemic and heinous activities of the marauding recalcitrant bandits who were invading communities, killing and kidnapping innocent people.
The governor, who addressed a press conference in Government House, said the state government in collaboration with security operatives would not spare any bandit that refused to embrace its peace accord.
He explained that the state government has been doing everything humanly possible to tackle banditry and criminality in the state and applauded the military for their timely operation in the dreaded Rugu forest.
“We have twin problem in Katsina, which areCOVID-19 and the unrepentant bandits still kidnapping, rustling and killing people in our localities, especially on those eight frontline Local Government Areas bordering Rugu forest.
“We are making unflinching effort in synergy with security agencies to end the activities of these unrepentant bandits that are still attacking our villages. Government will not relent until these bad elements are eliminated in our state,” Masari said.
The state governor had granted amnesty to bandits after a tour to Fulani settlements and strong enclaves of the bandits in Rugu Forest in September 2019, during which the famous bandits and their 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, Mohammed Adamu, in Katsina, to facilitate discussions with representatives of the bandits from the affected States of Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Kaduna and Zamfara States.
The rapprochement saw significant reduction in the number of attacks on the state’s rural communities.
Some observers believed that the resurgence of banditry in Dutsin-Ma, Danmusa, Safana and Kankara Local Government Areas, which has claimed more than 73 lives, might not be unconnected to the refusal of some repentant bandits to surrender their weapons after peace deal.