President Muhammadu Buhari has assured victims of banditry attacks that security measures would be deployed to safeguard lives and property, just as he commended Aliko Dangote, Dahiru Mangal and other philanthropic organisations for their contributions to the IDPs.
Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman in a statement in Abuja, said the President spoke when he met with Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, drawn from seven local governments affected by insurgency in Katsina State.
According to the presidential spokesman, Mr Buhari assured Nigerians that perpetrators would not go unpunished.
Mr Shehu said that the meeting was held at Basari council secretariat, Batsari Local Government Council of the state on Wednesday.
The President said the Federal Government was fully aware of the plight of citizens and would remain focused on delivering on its mandate of securing the lives of citizens.
“I am very sad that the consequences of these actions have brought hardship and affected the socio-economic lives of our people in the localities. Agriculture, which is the mainstay of the economy and source of livelihood, is worse affected.
“I would like to assure you that the Federal Government is fully aware of your situation as I receive daily reports from security agencies and the Governor Aminu Masari.
“Who personally visited and briefed me on the killings and wanton destruction by the armed bandits not only in Katsina but in other states as well.
“Let me assure all and sundry that the protection of lives and property of the citizenry is the prime essence of government. We shall be focused and determined to protect our citizens.’’
Mr Buhari said insecurity had reached a disturbing dimension globally, noting that only local, sub-regional and regional alliances would curb the spread of violence.
The President said he had earlier sent a top military assessment team based on the reports on the security situation in the state and had directed massive deployment of security personnel and military hardware.
He urged citizens to support the security agencies.
Mr Buhari commended the government of Katsina State for supporting security agencies and facilitating some of their operations.
According to the President, he has directed service chiefs to re-strategise operations and reposition for optimum results.
He appreciated the interventions of the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, and her foundation in providing succour to those affected by banditry attacks.
Buhari also thanked Aliko Dangote, Dahiru Mangal, Stanbic IBTC, National Commission for Refugees and Displaced Persons and other philanthropic organisations for their contributions to the IDPs.
The President directed the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to act fast and extend support to the victims in the affected local government councils.
The President, who called for more patience and forbearance, also condoled with the IDPs.
Governor Masari of Katsina state expressed appreciation for the President’s visit and the quick response of the military in providing reinforcement that had drastically reduced incidents of theft, kidnapping, banditry and cattle rustling.
He said some attacks were still being recorded due to the vastness of the Rugu forest that provides cover for criminals.
Also speaking, the Emir of Katsina, Dr Abdulmumini Usman, advised citizens against reprisal attacks which could lead to anarchy.
The Emir called for more patience and tolerance as security agencies tackled criminal elements against the progress of the state.