The governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, has expressed confidence in the ability of the nation’s military to end banditry, kidnapping and killing of innocent people in the state.
Mr Masari spoke when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai in Government House, Katsina.
The governor said since the army and other sister security agencies could degrade the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East, they could do the same to the bandits.
“You must bring the situation down to a level that it no longer poses threat to our lives and means of livelihood.
“I hope and believe that you have the capacity and training which you can deploy to end the banditry.
“We, the people of Katsina state will not and cannot fold our arms while our people are being mercilessly killed,’’ he said.
He explained that the problem of banditry in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and some parts of Kaduna had no religious colouration.
He cautioned that enemies of Nigeria, both within and outside must not be allowed to cash in on the menace to “factionalise, divide and manipulate our people for their own selfish interest.’’
Mr Masari pledged that he would not relent in supporting the security agencies to safeguard the lives and property of people of the state.
“We are ultimately responsible for the lives of the people we govern. That is the whole purpose of our being in government.
“So, for that we will not relent in terms of supporting the security agencies. We will continue to do that.
“I am giving you the assurance that we will continue to give you support to make that you succeed,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, said he was in Katsina as part of his of assessment of the security situation in the North West.
He admitted that security in the state had taken a dramatic turn in the recent time, but assured that steps had been taken to address it with deployment of more troops and equipment.
The army chief acknowledged the support of the state government so far and pleaded for more to end the banditry.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the delegation, while in Katsina visited troops’ locations, including Yar’gamji village in Batsari Local Government Area, where bandits killed some villagers on May 21.
Sa’adu Adamu, one of the villagers, however, told newsmen that the deployment of troops by the army after the incident had helped check further attacks.
At the palace of the Emir of Batsari, Tukur Ma’aze, Mr Buratai urged the people to remain calm as the military was already on top of the situation.
Earlier, he interacted with combined troops of Nigeria and Niger Republic on the Gusau-Zurmi-Jibia road, a border between the two countries and charged them to watch out for the bandits.
NAN reports that the army chief had visited troops in Zamfara where operations to flush out the bandits from the state and adjourning states are ongoing.
He celebrated with the troops on the occasion of the Eid-el-fitri as his manner is, to boost their morale.