From Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina State has described the recent abduction of some 333 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, as an indication of a breach of certain provisions of the 1999 Constitution regarding the primary responsibility of government.
‘The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government, under the 1999 Constitution,’ the PDP said in a statement in Katsina on Monday, arguing that the governments have consistently failed to discharge this responsibility.
The statement signed by its chairman, Alhaji Salisu Magiri, described the abduction of the school boys as the hallmark of the several cases of heinous activities by suspected bandits in parts of Katsina State.
According to the statement, ‘the increase in insecurity in Katsina State is of serious concern for all of us as the spate of killings, banditry and kidnappings have become routine.
‘The in-laws of both the President and Governor of the state were kidnapped at various times time.
‘A local government caretaker committee chairman was once kidnapped.
‘A high profile Islamic scholar was kidnapped. Even though these were eventually released, majority of the masses kidnapped on daily basis and payment of ransoms have continued virtually on daily basis.
‘And many lives have been lost in so many instances: the District Head of Yantumaki was killed, the village heads of Birchi and Mazoji were killed.
‘The APC Chairman of Batsari local Government Area was killed,
‘The PDP Chairman of Sabuwa Local Government Area was killed.
‘Aside these killings, many more people have lost their lives in the course of the process of kidnapping or refusal to pay ransom or through torture in the hands of the kidnappers. “Aside from the 10 local governments areas of Sabuwa, Dandume, Faskari, Kankara, Danmusa, Batsari, Safana, Kurfi, Jibiya and Dutsinma, that are the most insecure, other local governments like Kankia, Matazu, Musawa have remained vulnerable to attacks by bandits.
‘As a result of cattle rustling and payment of ransom money, many families have been thrown into abject poverty.
‘Cattle rearing and farming have been the major source of livelihoods for most of our local communities, most of the cattle have been rustled or sold along with farmlands to pay ransom money.
‘Many people have been thrown into IDP camps and the children in these camps no longer attend schools and there are no good health care, food and portable water.
‘The consequences of these cattle rustling and kidnappings have thrown the state into economic and social backwardness,’ the statement read.