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Home Opinion From Safe Haven To A Bandit Territory: All Sizzle But No Peace In Katsina – By Comrade Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu
From Safe Haven To A Bandit Territory: All Sizzle But No Peace In Katsina – By Comrade Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu

From Safe Haven To A Bandit Territory: All Sizzle But No Peace In Katsina – By Comrade Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu


From Safe Haven To A Bandit Territory: All Sizzle But No Peace In Katsina – By Comrade Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu

The Katsina state that was crafted out of old Kaduna State on September 23, 1987 by the then Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s regime, has over the course of history known to be a safe Haven for its inhabitants. The slogan “Home of Hospitality” which was bestowed on Katsina state right from its inception was not in anyway accidental. The slogan quintessentially boiled out of the non-negotiable and unconditional pursue of peace and tranquility, strong tie and bond of unification, as well as the high sense of tolerance and accommodative nature of ‘Katsinawan Dikko’ towards non indigenous inhabitants of the state. Hence the dispute of indigenes and settlers has never been a rising bone of contention in Katsina state.

The security of lives and properties, which by constitutional enshrinement is primarily the ultimate purpose that best justify the need for the existence of government, is today an unattainable and unguaranteed public good across different communities that made up Katsina state.

Turning the rabble away from Covid 19 outbreak which is currently hitting the airwaves across locals and international media, Katsina state is in a primitive state of anarchy where human lives are in the words of Thomas Hobbes “Nasty, brutish and short”. Katsina state is now a full grown bandits territory where constituted authorities are increasingly becoming powerless to maintain law and order. Bandits decide who dies and who lives. They decide which community exist and which is to be wiped away. Katsina state that was before now inarguably the most secured and peaceful state in circle of the seven states that made up the North West geopolitical region, has today turn out to be a territory that breed and haboured terror reigning brutal bandits and group of heartless kidnappers.

The footloose and fancy-free incumbent Governor Aminu Bello has let the grass of banditry grow right under his feets. Bandits are intensively and surreptitiously infiltrating Katsina state without limitation. In case such time has faded away from the aging memory of Governor Aminu Bello Masari, a magnanimous flashback should be enough to remind Governor Masari that he has on two different occasions sworn the oath of office to protect the lives and properties of every single inhabitants within his area of jurisdiction.

The dictum that the previous administration of Barrister Ibrahim Shema is by far better than the current administration of Governor Aminu Masari is not a mere declaration of intent but a verifiable statement of fact. It is so because the past leadership of Barrister Ibrahim Shema did not only uplift the poor from the ashes, but equally to a greater extent guarantee the security of lives and properties across Katsina state.

Governor Aminu Bello Masari never in anyway inherited from his predecessor a Katsina State that is defenselessly weak, mercilessly prone to violence, brutally vulnerable to banditry and outlaws. The Katsina state that was handover to Governor Masari was more secured than any Northern state across the federation. A well secured Katsina state where inhabitants deliberately leave the entrance doors to their abodes unlocked while they pass the night. A Katsina state where herders (cattle rearers) freely allowed their flocks of cattle’s worth millions to graze around, with no thought of cattle rustlers crossing minds. A Katsina state where business tycoons and store owners transact openly without having in mind they will be kidnap for ransom. A Katsina state where night watchmen do little to watch over stores in the market. A Katsina state where Banks and other financial institutions are not been manned by well armed police personnel. Governor Masari never inherited a tattered, unsecured and Blood bathing Katsina state.

The symbol of peace which Katsina state represent is long gone and out of sight. Today Katsina state has overnight turned the epicenter of bloodbath. Batsari and its environs has turn an abattoir where humans are brutally slaughtered on daily basis like a flock of cows and sheeps. Safana and its environs is now a jungle where bandits and kidnappers storm to hunt down humans as prey to feed their bloodthirsty lungs. Jibia and its environs is today been emptied and sacked by bandits as inhabitants flee their homes and remain internally displaced. Faskari and its environs is turning into graveyard of mass burial where bandits waste innocent souls at will. Dutsinma and its environs is now the latest place of kidnappers exploit for their amusements. Bandits and kidnappers have forced many businesses to close down untimely. Bandits activities have halt virtually all day to day activities of people across the state. Men cannot longer go to their farms in peace. Women are raped and assaulted like in animal kingdom.

In a diverse but culturally homogeneous settings like Katsina state, it is far more than unreasonable to reduce banditry and kidnappings to a mere communal clash of interest between Hausas (who are predominantly farmers), and Nomadic Fulanis (who are predominantly herders). A thorough widening of investigation beyond the sphere of tribal clashes, will certainly point fingers at some masking perpetrators of brutal massacre of innocent inhabitants in Katsina state, obviously for somewhat political reasons. The perpetrators of this heinous crime against Katsinawa if thoroughly investigated will not be too far away from within the government of the day in Katsina state.

Without mincing words, the nonchalant attitude of the Katsina state government towards combating the deadly acts of bandits and kidnappers within the state is justifiable enough to call for a second thought. Treating banditry with a glove hand by any government is obviously logical enough to question if the government is not in anyway equally guilty of promoting the reign of terror against its people. It is somewhat ridiculous and demeaning to the crest for anyone with modicum of common sense to accept wholeheartedly that the same Katsina state government that went so soft and easy on Bandits by going to the negotiation table with them for no justifiable reason, cannot at this point bring bandits to book to face the wrath of the law. Bandits in Katsina state are not fighting for a noble course. Bandits are not protecting a particular interest. Just a group of bloodsucking monsters infringing on the inhabitants Right to life. The same monsters the Masari led administration negotiated with have a specific hideout which is very well known to the government. Why is Katsina state government reluctant in paddle her own canoe towards forcing bandits to crawl out of their enclaves?

The honorable members of Katsina State House of Assembly, whom by constitutional proclamation are expected to be the voices that stood against such heinous crime on behalf of the people, have instead turnout to be buttock lickers of the Executive arm. They have lost their voices against this atrocity to the petty kobo-kobo that flows into their pockets from the Executive arm. Indeed the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The Executive has bought off the consciences and voices of the state Assembly to the extent that they cannot call the Governor to question over insecurity in the state. Summoning the Governor to appear before the state Assembly and issuing an ultimatum to bring and end to insecurity or face impeachment, would have been a good stepping stone to end killings in Katsina state.

Katsina state is outrightly on fire. Governor Aminu Masari should wake up from his slumber and stop on the wheel while steering the affairs of the state. The Governor and concern stakeholders should wasted no more time into sinking their teeth into ending banditry and kidnappings across the state. It is now or never that government need to draw a line in the sand for bandits to restore peace and tranquility in the state.

To bandits out there short living the lives of innocent inhabitants of Katsina state, be much aware that no matter how long you all cannot pervert the course of justice. The kind justice that await Bandits is arguably a poetic justice in which their virtue will be rewarded and their evil acts punished, often in a particularly appropriate manner, by an ironic twist of fate.

Comrade Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu
Political and Human Right Activist


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