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Katsina’s banditry menace bigger than COVID-19 – Gov. Masari

By Idowu Abdullahi, 

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has decried the incessant attacks by bandits culminating into wanton destruction of lives and properties in Katsina, saying the effect outweighs that of the novel coronavirus in the state.

He explained that with the unabated terror being unleashed by the bandits, citizens are beginning to lose confidence in the ability of the state government to protect them and restore normalcy in the state.

According to him, no fewer than fifty people were killed in the state by some unidentified gunmen in the last two weeks, adding that the situation had become overwhelming which had sidestepped the effect of coronavirus outbreak in the state.

The Governor, who gave details of his meeting through a post on his social media page on Wednesday after receiving the Chief of Defence, Training and Operations, Maj-Gen Leo Irabor and other senior officers from the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, noted that though the state has recorded ninety-five confirmed coronavirus cases with eight recoveries and eight fatalities, the people live in fear of the bandits than the danger posed by the pandemic since the attacks have become a daily affair.

He, however, urged the defense headquarters to take decisive and urgent steps in combating the menace as part of efforts to restore normalcy in the state before the citizens resort to self-help.

“We sincerely appreciate the efforts of the security agencies in the fight against banditry but we must also state that the situation has become so overwhelming. We are running out of words to convince our people that we are on top of the situation.

“They are, by the days, losing confidence in us as their leaders, saddled with the responsibility of securing their lives and properties.

“I am so saddened with the situation we are in now, because to most of our people in the troubled areas, COVID-19 is not even an issue. It may have taken over the world and the news about it but not here.

“Attacks by armed bandits have become a daily affair. In about two weeks, we have lost more than 50 people.

“At our own end and within the resources available, we have provided support to the security agencies. We even brokered peace through an Amnesty and reconciliatory drive. Some of the bandits repented and joined us in the fight. They were, however, overpowered by the unrepentant ones who are more sophisticated.

I am using this opportunity to inform the defense Headquarters that our people have started mooting the idea of taking up arms against the bandits no matter the consequences. We are doing our best to stop them and assure them that our security agencies are on top of the situation,” he wrote.

 

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