Nigeria: We Won't Allow Banditry Escalate to Boko Haram Level - Masari

5 August 2020

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari has said serious efforts are on, to bring to an end, cases of banditry in the North-West.

Masari who spoke to State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa said they won't allow banditry to escalate to the level of Boko Haram in the North West.

While assuring citizens that government is determined to contain the situation, Masasri said: "Currently the military are in Katsina for their annual super camp so over 2000 of them are gathered in Katsina in order to really send a signal to the bandits that the military is ready and willing and they have the capacity to deal with the situation.

"The hope is that the military including the police and other security agencies have been given a marching order by the President to control the situation by all means and it is a task that must be done because we cannot allow the situation in the North-West to develop to a worrisome stage like it is in the North-East."

He also said people living in the rural communities will testify that yes actions are on-going and the displaced persons are being well taken care of.

Masari stressed that although the rainy season has set in and can pose a challenge to the fight against bandits, government is determined to conquer them.

"You know, the North-Western and North-Central parts of the country where these bandits are is a vast forest area and unfriendly terrain so especially now during the rainy season, moving with heavy military equipment can be very challenge because the soil is soft and the rains are heavy but it is doable.

No situation is impossible especially to a willing and determined mind so I do believe that we can conquer these bandits and stop them from hibernating into something else," he stressed.

Masari noted that state governments in the affected areas are just waiting for the military to take total control of the forests and other affected areas before they can roll out their good plans for the people affected by banditry.

"First of all in the aspect of non-kinetic measures, what we are waiting for is for the military to take total control of the land areas then the State and Local Governments will now move in; especially in the area of education, access and water supply then their means of livelihood, which is mainly agriculture and livestock.

"For us in Katsina we have concluded all our designs but we cannot safely get access to where we can make reservations in terms of earth dams, we have already earmarked 30 areas in which we are going to reconstruct all the earth dams that are broken down and construct some that are new in order to provide watering points and again, we are reintroducing grazing points but as it is today, we cannot access the land.

"We have partners that are willing to join hands with us bit we have to get the land back in peace because nobody will go and invest where security is not very tight but with the current military operation going on, I am sure before the end of this rainy season we will have a very condusive atmosphere and free area that people can go back to their normal life," he said.

The Governor said criminal activities would not affect agricultural activities in Katsina state, adding that both government and farmers are expecting a bumper harvest this year.

He also said he was in the State House to bring Eid-El Kabir greeting s to President Buhari, one of their own, on behalf of all citizens of Katsina, since due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the President could not travel home for the sallah festivities, as he does every year

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