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Katsina State Governor Radda Accuses Government Officials and Security Personnel of Aiding Banditry

Katsina Governor Radda, ruling out political undertones, has insisted that poverty and injustice are major reasons insecurity has not ended.

Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State has accused some government officials and security personnel of aiding banditry in the country, saying that banditry has become a business venture for these officials.

The governor, who revealed that one bandit leader has over 100 camps in his state, said poverty has made recruitment into banditry easy, adding that as little as N500 could lure youths.

This is coming as Kebbi State Governor, Nasir Idris, has said he will sign a death warrant on any informant who is convicted in the state for volunteering information to bandits.

The northern region has in recent years been battling banditry, kidnapping, and a range of security issues as criminal gangs known locally as bandits have repeatedly raided places mostly in rural areas in the northern region, abducting many and killing others.

President Bola Tinubu’s top priority is to curb insecurity, which many have attributed to politics.

But speaking at the weekend during a television interview, Governor Radda ruled out political undertones, insisting that poverty and injustice are major drivers of insecurity.

He said negotiating with bandits would not be an efficient approach to addressing the menace of banditry.

“It is a business venture for the criminals and a business venture for some people who are in government and some people who are in the security outfits and some people who are responsible for the day-to-day activities of their people,” he said.

“These are some of the reasons why we are unable to bring an end to the issue of banditry.

“When you understand the terrain of the forest, and the different camps that we have within those forests… like in Katsina, we have more than 100 different camps that are being led by somebody. So, they have many leaders, many camps and if you’re negotiating with camps A and B and don’t negotiate with camps C and D, it will not bring any lasting peace.

“Even if you negotiate with the leaders, the other leaders may not necessarily comply with the directives of the leader. So that is what makes the negotiation very difficult. That is why I said I would never go into negotiations with any criminal at the point of weakness.”

As part of moves to tackle the region’s insecurity, some northern governors had embarked on a trip to the United States of America, which was widely condemned by Nigerians.

But Radda explained that the governors were invited to the meeting by the United States Institute of Peace, as part of moves to tackle security in the north.

He noted that the trip gave the governors fresh insights into insecurity in the region.

“The meeting was not at the instance of the selected governors of northern states but it was at the instance of the United States Institute of Peace. They were the people who invited us; they hosted us for the meeting. We were invited to sit with them so that we could bring about lasting solutions to the problems that are affecting our people,” he said.

 “Ten governors were in the United States, Washington D.C and we had a symposium with the United States Institute of Peace so that we can bring about ideas that will end insecurity that is worrying our people and is a major problem to the subnationals and they carefully chose the governors of the places affected by banditry and kidnapping,” he said.

“All of us sat for three days and we were able to cross-fertilise ideas and interact with all stakeholders that are involved in bringing about lasting peace and security globally,” the Katsina governor said.

“We have been on this insecurity for the last 10 years, and we have been doing the same thing and there was no sign of the end of this problem that is affecting our country and our sub-nationals in particular,” the governor said.

“So, we need to hear from anybody willing to offer any assistance that may help us to look into the issues and bring about a lasting solution to this problem of insecurity,” Gov Radda added.

Kebbi Gov Vows to Sign Death Warrant against Bandits’ Informants

Meanwhile, Governor Idris of Kebbi State has vowed to sign a death warrant against any informant convicted in the state for volunteering information to bandits in the state.

Idris gave this stern warning on Saturday during a sympathy visit to the inhabitants of Tudun Bichi in Wasagu Chiefdom of Danko-Wasagu Local Government Area to condole with them on the recurring attacks by bandits.

The governor, who was highly furious about the devilish act of informants, made it clear that he would append his signature to the death warrant of convicted informants.

“The activities of informants defied all norms and religious doctrines. Just for a pittance, some miscreants will provide valuable information to bandits to perpetrate mayhem against their own people.

“I will never condone or be lenient with such unscrupulous persons.

“Let it be known to the informants that whoever is convicted for volunteering information to bandits leading to the killing of innocent souls, I will sign his death warrant instantaneously,” he warned.

Idris gave an assurance that his administration would continue to provide the necessary support to the security agencies with emphasis on logistics, the welfare of troops, and other material requirements for combat readiness and operational successes.

Earlier, the Village Head of Tudun Bichi, Malam Muhammad Mika’ilu, thanked the governor for his kindness in paying a condolence visit to the people.

He said that the governor was the first Chief Executive of the state to visit the town among all elected governors.

Mika’ilu in a voice full of emotion, told the governor that the bandits had prevented them from cultivating their farmlands for the past two consecutive seasons.

He added that the bandits had renewed their attacks on the advent of this year’s rainfall, attacking and killing anyone who dared to till the land.

The village head appealed to the governor to facilitate the deployment of security operatives with requisite fighting equipment to deal with the bandits to enable the community to go back to normal uninterrupted farming of both food and cash crops.

Also speaking, an elder of Tudun Bichi, Mallam Sani Manomi, said the bandits had killed a total of 86 people from the town in various attacks on farmlands, adding that the invaders murdered seven villagers in cold blood on Thursday.

Bandits Raid Katsina Community, Kill 24 Persons

Meanwhile, at least 24 persons are said to have been killed and several others wounded in a fresh attack by bandits on Unguwar Sarkin Noma community in Sabuwa LGA of Katsina State.

A local security official told journalists  that the hoodlums stormed the villages of Unguwar Sarkin Noma, Gangara, Tafi, and Kore on Thursday night at about 9:00 pm shooting sporadically to scare the residents.

The Chairman of Sabuwa Local Government Council, Faruq Dalhatu, on a telephone call, said 23 of the victims were buried per the Islamic rites on Friday morning after the attack.

He added that the last victim was also conveyed for burial from the hospital after he was certified dead.

“Upon hearing of the bandits’ mission to attack the Local Government Council, we swung into action by informing virtually all the security agencies.

“They (security agencies) all responded to our distress call and availed themselves to the community. Before you know it, the bandits raided the community and killed these people.

“Twenty-three people were buried from the beginning, in accordance with Islamic rites, and the last victim was conveyed from the hospital after he was certified dead,” he added.

Francis Sardauna

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