Bagudu: Communities Need to Do More to Fight Banditry

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Abubakar Atiku Bagudu

By Deji Elumoye

The recent bandits’ attacks on some parts of Kebbi State have provoked reaction from the state Governor, Atiku Bagudu, who emphasised on the need for communities to do more to assist security agencies, who are also having some challenges, in routing out criminal elements in their domains.

Speaking with journalist after meeting separately with President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, at the State House, Abuja, the governor advised that rather than being in a hurry always, communities should realise that security personnel are also human beings who require support especially by way of passing information.

He said: “We call for vigilance and support for security agencies. Security agencies are doing a great job but they are also human beings. They need a lot of community support for information and understanding because sometimes, we are all in a hurry when we are facing challenges. But the security agencies also have modus operandi.

“Sometimes, they get risk reports in places that 500 people are coming to attack and maybe the local Divisional Police Officer (DPO) can only mobilise 20 policemen. Already, that confronts him with a challenge. So, they need truthful information. They need synergy with vigilance groups and community support so that they can continue to respond more appropriately. Also, sometimes they need support with logistics.

“Communities hardly reflect on all the logistic needs of security agencies. The government will never be able to provide enough. Much is being done. But it will never be enough for communities, and I’m sure that in all communities, there are people who can support the police.”

Commenting on his meeting with the president, Bagudu said: “I met with President Buhari to brief him, among others, on some security issues relating to my state, because about two weeks ago, there was a boat incident that claimed many lives.

“And the president promptly issued a statement and sent condolence messages and support, which we appreciated him on behalf of the people of Kebbi State.

“Also, just last week, there was an unfortunate attack by bandits from neighbouring states, who killed a number of people in Kebbi State. And I also briefed the president on the incident and appreciated him for promptly directing security agencies to investigate and support us more in dealing with such situation.”

Speaking on the availability of farming inputs in view of the arrival of the rainy season, the governor regretted that exchange rate has complicated the federal government’s fertilizer initiative, but noted that President Buhari has directed that they try and make fertilizer available.

He also allayed fears of food scarcity in the country, saying a lot has been achieved in the agriculture sector in the last few years in terms of yields per hectare.