Masari bans NGOs from IDP camps

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Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari has warned Non-Government Organisations against going into any of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the state under any guise.

Masari, who issued the warning on Monday at the Army Special Super Camp IV, Faskari, stated: “We will not allow these NGOs under whatever guise into our IDPs camps.

“We know that the fight against bandits and banditry is not over, but we can handle our displaced persons adequately because we have sufficient food, clothing, shelter and security for them while we strengthen efforts in restoring security for them to return to their respective homes.

“We want the IDPs to return to their homes as soon as possible, because leaving them at the camp is what is giving opening for those wanting to prolong banditry.”

Commending the military for their renewed effort in fighting the bandits in the Northwest, Masari said government needs to take more kinetic and administrative actions that would completely end the menace.

He lamented that the 1976 Local Government Reforms had stripped district heads of powers to effectively intervene in such situations.

The governor, however, said the state government had formed committees to revisit the Act in order to give powers to traditional rulers, from the district upward, with a view to sustaining the peace so far achieved.

Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai who had led the governor on a tour of the camp where they were shown the capacity of soldiers and weapons for onslaught to decimate bandits.

Gen. Buratai, who was represented by the Army Chief of Training and Operations, Maj. Gen. Enoch Udo thanked the governor for the visit and support to the troops.

He assured that the Army would continue to push until banditry is completely eliminated in the zone.

Masari called for the re-introduction of village security council to give more powers to the local government to address the challenge of banditry in Northwest.

He said the state government was looking into the Local Government Act to see how it can recreate the local security council altered by the local government reforms of 1976.

According to him, local councils should be empowered to be able to maintain security at the grassroots.

The governor stated that the fight against banditry was yet to be over, adding that more effort needed to be put in to crush the bandits.

He said: “As a government, there are certain actions, which we need to take; actions that are non-kinetic, actions that are administrative, actions that will make us look back at laws governing our local communities.

“My own thinking is that the local government reforms of 1976, which has taken all authorities from local institutions and vesting it on nobody.

“As a government we are going through the archives to see how we can recreate village security council and every Ward in Katsina state will have similar committee to recreate village security council.

“This village security council also can stray down to remote and smaller areas so that we can have those that can be held responsible.

“We believe also that future dialogue should be conducted in each and every village by these community council.

“I think it will help greatly because the military are working very hard to restore normalcy but after that we need to maintain and sustain peace in the villages and communities,” he said.

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