Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Suspected bandits operating in parts of Katsina State went on the rampage again Tuesday evening at the Gobirawa and Sabawa villages of Safana local government area, killing a total of 10 residents and burned down an unspecified number of houses.
The incident comes on the heels of similar attacks last week at the Yar Santa and Tsamiyar Jino villages of Kankara local government area, when bandits sacked the communities and killed nine redsident in the process, according to the police.
Confirming the latest attacks in a statement on Wednesday, the Katsina Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, said that the bandits equally rustled cattle in the affected areas.
According to the statement, “police patrol teams were dispatched to the scene and engaged the hoodlums in gun duel and chased them out of the villages. Investigation is ongoing.
“The command commiserates with the families of the deceased persons and the entire peace loving people of Katsina State. It will do every thing possible to bring perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice and bringing to an end the activities of these rascals.”
At the wake of the Kankara massacre last week, President Muhammadu Buhari had condoled the Internally Displaced Persons in the area and directed the security agencies to, within the shortest possible time, curtail the menace of “bandits tertorising parts of Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna states in orgies of kidnap for ransom, arson, murder and other forms of heinous banditry.”
According to Buhari, who spoke through Governor Aminu Bello Masari, “government is willing, ready and adequately prepared to deal with the situation and will not spare anybody, regardless of their position, found to be complicit and complacent in handling activities of the criminals.
“We will not hesitate to deal appropriately with anyone found to be connected, or in anyway involved, in the activities of the bandits.
“Be rest assured that the government will not abandon you in your hour of need, because we will take the fight to the bandits where ever they may be.”
But the murderous activities of the criminals have tended to persist in Katsina with killings, sacking of entire communities and kidnappings virtually becoming routine, weeks after the police authorities deployed a special squad code-named Operation Puff Adder to the eight local government areas where the hoodlums tend operate most.
Apart from Safana and Kankara, Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Dan-Musa, Faskari, Sabuwa, Dandume, and parts of Kafur local government areas are the front line local government areas where life has reportedly turned nigthmarish for residents due to the activities of bandits.
Parts of communities in these areas share boundaries with the dreaded Rugu forest which cuts across parts of the neighbouring Republic of Niger, Zamfara and Kaduna states.