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One killed, 2,000 persons displaced as bandits sack 10 Katsina LG villages

…As Police beef up security in 9 LGAs for elections

By Bashir Bello

One person was confirmed dead, while no fewer than 2,000 persons were displaced after armed bandits allegedly sacked 10 villages in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Troops recovered items such as three AK-47 rifles,10 Local AK-47 rifles, 9 locally made pistols, six revolver guns, which fires 7.62mm (special ammunition), 45 loaded dane guns, 10 clubs and cudgels, 41 arrows, 18 bow cases, 122 cutlasses and machetes as well as 20 daggers.

A community source told Vanguard that the incident took place Wednesday night and one unidentified person was killed in Ruma Tsohowa area of the local government.

According to the source, over 2,000 women and children have been displaced by the attack and currently taking refuge at Model Primary School in Batsari.

It will be recalled that bandits had, last weekend, attacked Kasai village in  the local government area, killing an army captain and five civilians.

The source, however, said the attack had since continued after the killing of the soldier and other civilians.

According to the source, “no night after the attack leading to the killing of the soldier that they don’t carry out attack. They attack two villages per day. The last was carried out in Ruma Tsohowa last night (Wednesday) where one person was killed and  animals were carted away.”

The villages sacked include Garin Labo, Garin Yara, Kasai, Sabon Garin Dunburawa, Dantudun Garin Yara, Shingi and Garin Dodo to mention but a few.

Contacted, spokesperson of Katsina State Police Command, Gambo Isah, said it was not that the bandits sacked the villagers but the people were apprehensive of the heavy presence of security men in the area

He said: “It is not that bandits sacked the villagers, the people are apprehensive that the heavy presence of security men in the area may lead to a confrontation between them and the bandits.

“The people should go about their lawful duties as the security presence is to ensure the security of lives and property and also enable them exercise their franchise during the elections on Saturday.”

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Police beef up security in 9 LGAs for elections

Meanwhile, Katsina State Commissioner of Police, Sanusi Buba, yesterday said the police had beefed up security in nine frontline local government areas of the state prone to insecurity to ensure smooth conduct of elections in the areas.

The frontline areas include Batsari, Jibia, Danmusa, Safana, Kankara, Faskari, Sabuwa and Dandume, all sharing borders with the dreaded Rugu forest, hideout of  bandits, kidnappers among others.

Buba, who disclosed this while addressing newsmen on the level of preparedness for tomorrow’s polls, also warned that anybody or group found attempting to undermine the electoral process would be made to face full wrath of the law.

The commissioner also warned politicians and very important personalities from going to any voting centre with security details or orderlies and to desist from moving from one place to another on the election day as stipulated by Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

According to Buba, “we have made adequate arrangements to provide security for all voters to come out en mass and cast their votes without any fear of harassment or molestation.”

“All the nine (9) front line local government areas bordering Rugu forest are being fortified with roving patrols to protect voters and safe guard INEC staff and materials.

“Deployment of policemen and other sister security agencies to man the polling units have also been concluded.

“We are calling on all good citizens of Katsina State to partner with the police and other security agencies to make the elections a success.

“Let me quickly warn that any attempt by any person or group of persons, who may contemplate undermining the electoral process will be tackled decisively. Parents are hereby called upon to warn their wards to dissuade from any contemplated illegality, as the full wrath of the law will descend on anybody caught in any infractions targeted at undermining any of the electoral laws and any other law of the land for that matter.

“There will be a total restrictions of movement of persons and vehicles from 6am to 6pm on the election day. All entry and exit points into the state are going to be manned and blocked by security personnel. No movement will be allowed until the elections are over.”

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