By civil society group
It is no longer news that Katsina state that used to be one of the most peaceful states in the country is gradually missing such glory due to increasing act of armed banditry and related crimes.
Currently, in addition to the 8 frontline LGA of Batsari, Jibia, Danmusa, Safana, Sabuwa Kankara,, Dandume and Faskari the menace has exclated to Dutsinma, kurfi, Batagarawa, Rimi, Danja, Kafur, Matazu, Kaita, Malumfashi and Katsina have .vulnerable to these attacks
Worse hit of recent after the Dialogue and amnesty, are the councils of Jibia and Dutsin-Ma LGAs, were hardly a day goes by without a reported attack Within the last 30days for instance, twenty Six attacks were recorded.
Insurgency in Katsina state has made thousands of people flee their homes and relocated to other communities for safety. Those that can afford rents look for it in other safer communities within and outside the state while those that cannot live or squat with relatives.
In view of the state’s security situation, coupled with the actions being taken by governments at all levels, the Coalition wishes to strongly express its dismay by the way Federal and state governments are not living up to their constitutional responsibility as enshrined in the constitution section 14 (2) of protecting lives and property of the people of Katsina state; especially the federal government being it the tier that has control over the security institutions and machinery of the country.
The coalition, disturbed by the situation had series of meetings with both member organizations and opinion leaders, where issues around the deteriorated security situation of the state were generated and discussed. Based on that, we observed that:
- The federal and state governments have failed woefully in securing the lives and property of the people of Katsina state
- The dialogue done with the bandits initiated in good faith became efficient for a while because it was neither professional nor built on any defined framework.
- Should this situations continue , the people would be left with no option than to take law into their hands to protect themselves. This may spell doom for the future of security in the state.
- The foresight of the state government in creating security department and appointing a seasoned security expert is commendable.
- A new dimension of unpatriotic citizens conniving with and commissioning these bandits to smuggle rice, arms, and other contraband and is becoming wearisome.
- The coalition has equally observed that the suspension of vigilante groups has created an avenue for the bandits to wreck the their havoc at will.
- It has been observed also that there are several allegations of connivance between bandits, security personnel, and traditional rulers.
In line with the above observations, the Coalition wishes to recommends the following:
- Both Federal and state government must live up to their responsibility by efficiently utilising security apparatus and modern technology to address the insecurity across the state within the soonest possible time.
- A thorough reflection and review of the previous Dialogue be made with the view to making it professional, effective and sustainable.
- Productive engagement and sensitisation on security issues with communities.
- Government should ensure that the office of the office of the Security adviser be made to function effectively devoid of a interference.
- The Coalition wishes to call on the government at both state and Federal to use effective security intelligence to check such alleged connivance with a view to bringing perpetrators to book.
- Government should revisit it’s stand on the suspension of vigilante activities with a view to streamlining them to function effectively and professionally.
- The state government should come up up with programs targeted at the Fulani communities with view to educating and enlightening them. This should include provision of infrastructural and social amenities to these hard reach communities.
- We are reminding the bandits and their local and international allies to realised that these menace will never continue for ever and there are repercussion on all of us. Thus the need to revisit their thinking.
- The general public who are the victims should not relent in their efforts by being vigilant, prayerful and continue to cooperate and support the efforts of government and security.