Katsina Won’t Negotiate with Bandits, Masari Insists


Police kill suspected armed robber in gun battle

Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State yesterday reiterated the determination of the state government not to negotiate with bandits and urged the security agencies to be ruthless with bandits terrorising the state as well as neighbouring Kaduna and Zamfara states.

This is coming as a suspected armed robber was killed on Tuesday night during an encounter with the police along Bakori/ Kabomo Highway in the state.

Masari made the declaration when heads of security agencies in Katsina brought two repentant bandit commanders from Illela village in Safana Local Government Area.

The repentant bandit commanders also returned 10 AK-47 rifles.

The two bandit leaders, Sale Turwa and Muhammed Sani Maidaji who returned eight AK-47 and two AK-47 rifles respectively, were presented before the Governor by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sanusi Buba, and his colleagues from the 17 Brigade, Katsina, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The Commissioner of Police informed the governor that it was the view and consensus of all the security chiefs in the state to request him to accept the bandits’ remorse and forgive them so as to encourage others to follow suit.

While describing the development as a very significant milestone in the fight against banditry and other criminalities, Masari urged the security operatives not to relent, but redouble their efforts in fighting the bandits until they are completely degraded and rendered permanently ineffective.

He declared, “I’ve instructed the security operatives to deal ruthlessly with the bandits until they are rendered permanently ineffective.

“We are no more going to negotiate with them, but if on their volition they decide to renounce their violent criminal ways and embrace peace, we are ready to listen to them.

“Even then, they must surrender all the arms and ammunition in their possession, otherwise they remain enemies to be dealt with accordingly, as far as we are concerned.

“Government is always ready to receive, forgive and rehabilitate repentant bandits, as long as they surrender all the arms and ammunition in their possession, but it is not up to us to romance them.”

Masari also called on those who have yet to renounce their criminal ways and their informers to borrow a leaf from the two repentant commanders, assuring them that they, their family, and property would be adequately protected.

Meanwhile, a suspected armed robber was killed on Tuesday night during an encounter with the police along Bakori/ Kabomo Highway.

The armed robber along with other members had blocked the road a few minutes to eleven in the night.

It was learnt that the Divisional Police Officer for Bakori, led a team of policemen to push the robbers off the highway leading to a gun battle which resulted in the death of one of the armed robbers.

The Spokesman for the Katsina State Police Command, SP Gambo Isah, confirmed the development.

He said a locally-made toy gun was found on the armed robber, adding that an investigation was already in progress on the incident.