Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has complained of constant bandits’ attack on Faskari and Kankara local government areas of the state.
He attributed the attacks to the proximity of the local government areas to the forests of neighbouring states including Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and up to Kebbi.
However, he stated that there had been a heavy reduction in banditry and kidnapping in recent times in the state.
The governor made this known when he received National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was on a condolence visit over the murder of the state’s Commissioner for Science, Technology and Innovation, Rabe Nasir.
Masari said, “In recent times, there has been a heavy reduction in kidnapping and banditry in the State. It is, however, still happening in Faskari and Kankara local government areas. Even yesterday(Saturday), there was kidnapping in Faskari.”
He also revealed that his government had set up 40 conflict resolution centres in various parts of the state that handle domestic issues that are not crime-related, as part of efforts to ensure harmony among residents of various communities in the state.
According to him, the state government amended the local government laws to get district heads and traditional institutions involved in curbing crimes in their various communities when it became obvious that many banditry and kidnap cases in the state were community-based.
He said, “What we have at hand now is community banditry; most banditry and kidnapping are still within the same communities. Not necessarily from the forests.
“That is why we amended the local government laws to allow community participation. We now have a security structure that includes village heads, religious leaders, youths leaders and representatives of vigilante. The structure has the support of the police.”
Masari, who maintained that the current security challenges in Nigeria were not peculiar to the country, declared that “what is required is a leadership that is purposeful and with a political will to confront the problem”.