Banditry: Gov Masari ask FG for additional money to affected states
A town hall meeting on security organized by the federal ministry of information and culture has been held in Katsina.
Addressing the meeting at conference hall of katsina local government service commission along Kaita road in katsina, Governor Aminu Bello Masari spoke at length on the efforts by the state government in tackling the menance of kidnappings and armed banditry.
Alhaji Aminu Masari explained that in a bid to ensure continued protection of lives and property and restore peace, the state government sponsored and organized various security operations by the security agencies to curb the persisting security challenges.
To this end, he said the state government provided logistics support to security agencies for the smooth undertaking of their operational mandates.
Governor Aminu Masari said the state government secured office accomodation and donation of over 200 million naira for the smooth take off of the 17 Brigade of the Nigeria Army in Katsina.
He said the state government provided accommodations to men and officers of the Nigerian Army for the establishment of a Battalion in Malumfashi while effort is on towards the establishment of another battalion in Daura.
Alhaji Aminu Masari announced that the state government procured 25 number Hilux vehicles and donated to the Army and the police.
The Governor explained that the state government had been releasing over 80 million naira to the security agencies for logistics support and personal allowances in the state
He said the amount is for security interventions and security surveillance programmes, joint security operations tagged Sharan Daji, special blocking operations at Jibiya- Batsari- Safana axis of Rugu Forests and operations Puff adder.
The Governor explained that the state government spend 50 million Naira on the phase one exercise of the re-dermarcation of cattle and stock routes across the state, which was successfully completed, adding that approval has also been granted for phase two of the exercise.
Furthermore, he said the state government procured a tracker machine at the cost of 47 million Naira and donated to the state command of the state security services for tracking and geo- locating of kidnappers in their hideouts and to aid rescue of kidnap victims.
The Governor announced that he had assented to the state law providing death sentence to all culprits convicted of kidnapping offence.
Alhaji Aminu Masari revealed that he personally undertook a tour of the Rugu Forests in the Frontline local governments between 4th and 9th of last month where majority of the renowned bandits and forests commanders denounce armed banditry and have accepted to embrace peace.
He therefore said kidnappings and armed banditry have reduced drastically to the barest minimum, adding that normalcy and relative peace have returned in the 8 local governments bordering the forests.
The Governor explained markets which hitherto were not patronized due to the menace of cattle rustling, kidnappings and armed banditry have now continue to witness large number of people from all walks of life thereby increasing economic fortunes of the state.
He said the peace deal had brought about release of people kidnapped and abducted by the bandits detained in Prisons and police cells.
He called on the federal government on the need to consider a special security subvention or grant to the affected North West states to adequately fund the dialogue and peace Programme as well as other security operations in the states.
The fund, he said the fund would assist the states to cushion challenges of resettlement of the repentant herders and their families.
The Governor expressed gratitude to the Minister of information and culture for not only organizing the town hall meeting on security but the choice of katsina to host the event.
In an opening remarks, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed reminded the gathering that the ministry lauched the maiden edition of the town hall meeting in 2016 in Lagos to enhance citizens participation in governance.
As a cardinal Programme of the president Muhammad Buhari led administration in tackling, the ministry deem it fit to organize the special meeting on security to enable states in the North West to highlight achievements recorded in fighting criminality in the states.
The Governors of Sokoto and Zamfara states, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Mutawallen Maradun Alhaji Muhammad Bello also spoke at length on the efforts made to curb insecurity in the states.
Similarly the Ministers of Defense and Interior, Retired Major General salihi Magashi and Alhaji Ra’uf Aregbesola spoke at length on efforts being made by their respective ministries to help overcome criminality in the North Western States in the country.
Highlight of the occasion was a question and answer session.
Hassan Muhammad Tukur
Government House Press Centre katsina