Editorial: Panacea to Insistence Bandit Attacks in Katsina State
In recent time, there has been a rising wave of attacks on innocent citizens of Katsina state by ravaging armed bandits.
Hardly does a day past without reported cases of killings, kidnapping, animal rustling, arsons and inhuman carnages melted on villages in Kankara, Faskari, Dandume, Safana, Batsari, Jibia and other places.
The situation has become so precarious that it requires the intervention of every well meaning individuals, organizations and institutions to come out and offer workable and lasting solutions to the problem; for sake of our people, our state and for humanity. We cannot continue to stand akimbo while the situation degenerates and allow our people to be killed, maimed and raped by ragtag bandits, whose mission and vision is unclear, inhumane and against our noble religion.
When the issue of insecurity is being discussed, it is common to heap the blame on the president, Gen. Muhammad Buhari, the state governor, Alh. Aminu Bello Masari, or their party, the APC.
But the current insecurity in the state is more fundamental, it is above personality or political party affiliation. The issue of insecurity, and remedy to it, must be view from a more wider scope and holistic perspective. There is the need for a more concerted and pragmatic approach in addressing the evil of banditry in the state, and by extension, Nigeria as a whole.
Katsina Post has come up with some suggested solutions, which to our current reality, may be utopianic or unrealistic, but if viewed critically and adopted would go a long way in curbing or eliminating this our common enemy.
One of our proposed solution to this problem is the need to review the constitutional role of our traditional institutions. It remained a fact that our traditional institutions remain our heritage; it arose feelings of emotion, loyalty and action in us which is unequal to any. That apart, the traditional institution in Katsina has an enigmatic and potent presence in every nooks and crannies of the state. For instance, the Emir of Katsina has his foot soldiers and presence in every inch of land from Dankama to Damari; within a blink of eye the Emir send and receive messages from any of his men on the field, and order for immediate actions.
This traditional institution needs to be given more constitutional responsibility, needs to be adequately recognized, needs to be properly funded and equipped in the fight against insurgency and banditry.
The Katsina state government (and by extension, the federal government) has to work closely with the emirate council in fighting this battle; there is the need for synergy between the two, because all hand must be on desks in order to confront our common enemy.
In the quest for broader solution to this problem of banditry, there is the need to readdress the current distortion in the Nigeria’s federal structure. The deliberate elimination of the local government administration is an anomaly. We all know that Nigeria is structured on a tripartite footing, that is, the Federal, the state and the local government. And every of the tier of government has it own constitutional responsibilities in the provision of infrastructure, security and for the wellbeing of the people in their domains. For instance, the local government chairman is the security office of his local area, he is responsible for mobilising his people and security agencies against any external aggression or intruders into his domain. He is assisted by councillors, Supervising councillors, multiple SAs and community heads. All the people occupying these positions are constitutionally recognised and could be empowered to defend their territories against banditry. But unfortunately, for more than 15 years now Katsina state, this local government has been completely neglected and underfunded. This neglect has put too much pressure on the state government, and it has drastically propel the insecurity in these local areas.
Functional local government areas are veritable tools for grassroot mobilization against any form of external or internal aggression and attack. The local government equally provide for opportunity for conflict resolution for any communal disputes.
Therefore, we at Katsina Post implore the state government, under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, to, as a matter of urgency, put every mercenary into motion to conduct local government election in the state, so that the local government areas can put their destinies in their hands and mobilize their people ( with support from Federal & State government) to fight against banditry in their areas.
In line with the above, we recommend that the State government should establish something like Neighborhood Watch Agency. This shall be a special security outfit that should recruit, mobilize and train the local vigilantes to defend their territories against armed intruder and other vices like armed robbery.
The only difference between the bandits and the local vigilantes or warriors is the firearms, therefore, this agency should be well funded to provide ammunition, firearm handling and financial enumeration to the local vigilantes.
The Neighbourhood Watch shall provide community policing and secured their area. They shall work in tandem with extant security laws and protocols. That is, the outfit must work in close collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies.
The security of life of people of Katsina state cannot continued to be jeopardized at the expense of the marabout bandits. Something urgent needs to be done by the state government to put an end to these carnages.
It is line with its social responsibility that we at Katsina Post have put forward the above recommended solutions as parts of efforts to curtail and eliminate insecurity in Katsina state.
We hereby call on the government to look into some of these our recommendations in marshalling and finding a lasting solution to problem of bandit attacks and other forms of insecurity in the state.
Enough is Enough!
* Our readers’ comments are welcomed.