By Francis Sardauna
Apparently miffed by the spate of banditry in Katsina State, Governor Aminu Bello Masari has rated Nigeria as the country with the highest number of kidnap-for-ransom cases in the Sahel region.
The governor also decried the spate of security challenges orchestrated by insurgency and banditry bedevilling the North-west region and other parts of the country.
Masari, who spoke at a two-day security awareness seminar for Imams and other Islamic leaders in the state in Katsina Saturday, said the kidnappers have migrated from other countries within the region to Nigeria.
He said: “Nigeria is the richest country among countries in Sahel region. So, all those engaged in kidnapping business and selling of guns have shifted their attention to Nigeria because it is here that they can kidnap somebody and get N10,000,000, N50,000,000, and even N100,000,000.”
He stated that kidnapping and killings of innocent citizens across the country has remained a daily occurrences and the menace need to be tackled by all and sundry instead of depending on security agencies whom he said are inadequate.
According to him, “There is no doubt this country is facing different security challenges. Although, the problem of Boko Haram has reduced but banditry and kidnapping is still with us.
“The bandits started with the rustling of cows, later killings, kidnapping, raping of women and girls, burning of villages and foodstuffs belonging to residents of the state.”
He explained that lack of synergy among North-west governors has also contributed immensely to the deteriorating security challenges afflicting residents of the zone.