By Egena Sunday Ode
Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, Wednesday said serious efforts were on-going to bring an end to banditry and other criminalities prevalent in the North-West region.
He further said government would not allow the situation to escalate to something like the Boko Haram menace currently rocking the North-Eastern part of the country.
Masari expressed this optimism while speaking to State House Correspondents, after he met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Assuring citizens that government was 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.”
According to the governor, “people living in the rural communities will testify that yes actions are on-going and the displaced persons are being well taken care of.”
Noting that the setting in of the rainy season could pose a challenge to the fight against bandits, the Katarina governor expressed confidence that government was determined to defeat 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 also noted that state governments in the affected areas weree just waiting for the military to take total control of the forests and other affected areas before they could roll out their palliative plans for the people affected the nefarious activities of the bandits.
“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.