Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has stated that Nigeria has become economically attractive to kidnappers and bandits within the Sahel region of the continent.
The governor who was yesterday on Channels Television’s Politics Today strongly opposed the idea of granting blanket amnesty to the bandits, stating that the idea is enabling the miscreants to continue with their crimes.
Masari argued that the security situation in the country has improved since the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over power.
“When we started in 2015 in the North-West, it was cattle-rustling. Gradually, it now developed into banditry, rape, kidnappings. When all that they (bandits) can steal from the villagers along the fringes finished, they moved to the rustling of goats, sheep, and even chicken.
“What we should do and what the government should do now is (about) high-profile kidnapping. In my state, they kidnapped four relatives of very senior government officials. When they cannot get anything to sustain themselves, they resort to high-profile kidnappings for money in cities and towns. That is the danger, that is something we must work hard to stop,” the governor said.
Masari also kicked against the intervention of the Kaduna-based Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi in quelling the banditry activities in the North-west.
He questioned the cleric’s knowledge on security issues.
“Was he there? What did he know about what we did in Kaduna? I challenge Gumi to come and tell us if he knows what we did in Kaduna,” the governor asked in reaction to Gumi’s stance on how the state government should handle banditry.
Speaking further on why he does not support Gumi’s intervention, Masari said the cleric did not go about it the right way.
“I expect him to, first of all, preach to them (the bandits), the implication of killing innocent people and also the implication of abducting people and its consequences. That is what I expect a clergyman first and foremost to do,” Masari said.