…As Katsina Senator vows fire for fire against Bandits
By Henry Umoru
WORRIED over the continued cases of banditry, kidnapping, killings in Katsina State, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate, Tuesday urged the Federal government to strengthen the security agencies to gear up their activities in the State as that would help forestall further attacks on the people.
The Senate has also asked the Federal Government to through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, urgently come to the rescue of the injured and Internally Displaced persons, lDPs in the various parts of the State to ameliorate their need by the provision of relief materials.
The Upper Chamber has also mandated its Committees on Defence and Army, Navy, Airforce, National Security and Intelligence and Establishment and Public Services to see to the implementation of the resolutions.
The resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion through a point of Order on Matter of Urgent Public Importance by Senator Kabir Abdullahi Barkiya, All Progressives Congress, APC, Katsina Central on the “incessant invasion of bandits in Katsina State particularly Katsina Central Senatorial District.”
Presenting his motion, Senator Barkiya who noted urged the Senate to note the incessant attacks, kidnapping and killings unleashed by bandits on the peaceful people of Katsina State “which has brought commercial, religious, and social activities in the state to a standstill.”
According to him, the attacks have resulted in the loss of lives, displacement of residents, destruction of livestock and crippled businesses and pleaded with the Senate to particularly observe the attacks in the towns of Batsari, Tsohuwa, Kasai, and Yargamji in Batsari Local Government Area and Gobirawa and Sabawa in Safana Local Government “where more than 17 persons were killed.”
The Senator who noted that 49 persons were kidnapped in Kurfi Local Government and all their belongings stolen while 20 others were killed in Mara Zanfawara in Danmusa Local Government, however lamented that 20 people were also killed, 30 kidnapped and 10 vehicles burnt in Shimfida village in Jibia Local Government in the State, just as he recalled that the attacks took a new turn since February when a senior military officer and six others were killed in Kasai village.
He said, “Since then, it has been a harvest of killings and kidnapping of residents and indigenes who are mostly farmers.”
According to him, despite the efforts of the Katsina State Government to dialogue and negotiate with the bandits, there were still reported cases of banditry in some local governments like Batsari and Kurfi “indicating that urgent action is needed to nip these attacks in the bud.”
Later while answering questions from Journalists, Senator Barkiya, vowed that the Government of Katsina State has resolved to return “fire for fire” against bandits if the current peace efforts fails to yield intended results.
Barkiya said: “The other day, the bandits asked us to meet them inside the bush and we even had to trek over 50 kilometres through thick forest to meet with them. We have commenced negotiations but they have continued to attack our people mercilessly.
“They recently kidnapped over 40 women and children including a man. They killed over 20 traders went to buy goods from the market and carted away their goods.
“So, the Governor has said that if the bandits refuse to allow peace to reign in the state in view of his ongoing negotiations with them, he will meet them fire for fire. We are ready for peace but they should not take the peaceful nature of the Katsina State Government for granted.”