News

February 23, 2024

Katsina govt reacts to resurgence of banditry in eight LGAs 

Katsina

Katsina

Katsina State Government has reacted to the resurgence of banditry in eight local government areas of the state, saying it was a desperate move by the criminals who have been under intense pressure.

The state Deputy Governor, Faruk Lawal, said this at a press conference in Katsina on Thursday.

He explained that security forces have pinned the bandits to only eight of the 22 local government areas where they were hitherto operating.

Lawal added that it was due to the pressure that the bandits now attack “villages in mass numbers to show that they are still intact.”

The deputy governor assured the people of Katsina State that the days of the bandits are numbered as the current security operations will continue with more intensity.

He said that in a recent encounter between the security operatives and the bandits in Burdugau Forest, many of the bandits were killed.

“The report we received indicated that the bandits, numbering about 200 on motorcycles, attacked the community and rustled animals.

“We lost the CSWC commander, but the bandits also suffered casualties as many of them were killed, while others escaped with gunshot injuries, and hundreds of the rustled animals were recovered,” he said.

According to him, when the administration came on board in May 2023, a total of 22 out of the 34 local government areas in the state were affected by insecurity.

“But due to sustained government commitment and the efforts of security agencies, there is now relative peace, with the exception of the frontline local governments.

“They are: Jibia, Batsari, Danmusa, Kankara, Faskari, Sabuwa, Dandume, and Safana LGAs, sharing borders with Rugu Forest,” he said.

He added that more than 50 abducted persons have been freed by the security forces.

“We will continue the fight until peace is restored in all those frontline local governments,” he assured.

The deputy governor, however, urged residents to expose those selling pre-registered SIM cards, or supplying food, fuel, and ammunition to the criminals.

“Stop selling or buying pre-registered SIM cards; bandits and criminals are using it to perpetuate their acts.

“Whenever they are arrested, the seller will equally be held responsible. It is an offence to sell or buy such SIM cards.

“We are also calling on the general public to report anyone supplying food, fuel, or ammunition to the bandits in the bush,” Lawal added.

He also urged residents to provide timely and accurate information about criminal activities to engender prompt responses by the government and security operatives. (NAN)