Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Governor Aminu Bello Masari was sworn in for a second term, yesterday, and pledged to restore peace in Katsina State, currently ravaged by armed banditry and unprecedented wave of kidnappings.
“As we are all aware, the state has, of recent, witnessed disturbing resurgence of incidences of armed banditry and kidnapping for ransom, more prevalent especially in the frontline local government areas bordering the Rugu forest, despite the government’s continued unflinching logistics support to the security agencies in the state.
“Our towns and villages in those areas have become prone to a new dimension of armed bandits attacks, leading to the killing and maiming of innocent citizens, carting away of their foodstuff and burning down other belongings of economic value including houses, vehicles, shops and traditional silo.
“Kidnap incidences, on the other hand, have permeated all the strata of the society, as the rich and poor, religious and traditional rulers have become victims.
“Let me seize this opportunity to, once again, express my heartfelt condolences to victims of the recent terrorist attacks at Batsari and Kankara local government areas where over 39 people lost their lives with more than 200 injured.
“This is an unacceptable tragedy for which I call for a special prayer here and now; in memory and respect of our fallen citizens of Batsari, Kankara, Safana, Jibia, Dandume, Sabuwa, Faskari and Danmusa areas.
“I want to assure the good people of Katsina State that the state government has not relented in its determined efforts to ensure the security of lives and properties of its citizenry,” Masari said in his post-inauguration speech at Peole’s Square, Katsina.
The governor traced the prevailing state of insecurity to developments within administrations of previous governments in the state.
“When we took over, we deployed varying tactics and comprehensive peace packages, including stakeholder engagements, dialogues, and amnesty programmes, to promptly and decisively address the problem of cattle rustling and rural banditry. Despite the relative successes recorded by the Katsina state government on cattle rustling, the military operation in Zamfara State has greatly affected Katsina state as most of the rustlers dislodged from the forests in Zamfara State relocated to Katsina, especially the frontline local government areas bordering Rugu forest, thus affecting our success in that regard.
“But, there are still other associated insecurity challenges with kidnappings and other forms of abductions as being the most disturbing…”