Opinion: How To End Banditry In Katsina – By Umar Tata
First step is to arm the residents of the frontline villages, from Sabuwa to Jibia, where these bandits always harass and pass through into the hinterland. The only reason why these bandits kill our people like chickens is because my people possess nor arm nor any means of defending themselves equivalent to what the bandits carry. If we have close to 200 villages in the frontline all armed with 100-200 AK47 machine guns per village, which is far from what the bandits possess, I bet you they will think twice before ever attacking us again. This can be done legally and if the police or any security arm will become an albatross to it we can force our way to have it. If killing our people is acceptable to them I can’t see why defending ourselves will be unacceptable to them. The only way an animal can understand you is to speak its language. These people are animals and we need to speak their language to square up with them. We have retired DPOs and other military personnel littering the state, govt can recruit them and send them to train these volunteers in the frontline villages. Both the guns, the ammunition and the servicing should be borne by the government. This is what I will do if I am the governor since nothing seem to be working.
When peace is achieved government must ensure the reconstruction of destroyed and abandoned villages to resettle those forced to leave home. This will ensure that there are no more internally displaced people in the State. Government will do well if it can empower them to enable them settle properly in their abandoned villages. This is what I will do if I am the governor.
Over time, depending on the success of this ‘Arm Ourselves Strategy’, government in conjunction with security agencies and the battalion of our local militia should embark on a mop up of all arms in every Ruga in the State. This should be done using the local militia who know the terrain more than our security agents to encircle every Ruga while the security will conduct a house to house search for guns. Any effort towards Sulhu should only be after there is no single Fulani with a gun in Katsina state.
We have to tell ourselves the honest truth. We don’t have enough security to secure Katsina state against this banditry. Whatever the security men may achieve now is temporary and restricted to a particular area. They can’t be everywhere in the eleven local governments most affected. We have to defend ourselves if we are to survive else we will be exterminated while the world watches. I have, during my campaign passed a village at night in Kankara local government around 2am where every male adult has a gun. A dane gun. People are ready to defend themselves but do not have the means. The bandits can afford to buy superior guns because they use them for business while conversely a poor peasant farmer in Sabuwa or Batsari does not have the money to buy one and service it even if he has the determination to confront this evil. Government should organise them and buy them the guns. Gun is the only solution! We don’t need police or the military to defend us against these animals that we know if the means to confront them is provided to us.
If you think my suggestion will accelerate lawlessness what can be more lawless than being left to your own fate in the hands of animals who relish in taking lives?