Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, yesterday, raised the alarm that the state is under security siege, stating categorically that no one, not even himself, is safe. According to him, reports from security agencies reveal that kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry and cattle rustling are now the order of the day in the state.
The alarm by the governor is coming barely 24 hours after his Borno State counterpart, Kashim Shettima, raised similar concern about worsening security situation in his state, following the escalation of attacks on soldiers and civilians by Boko Haram.
“Today (yesterday), reports I received from security agencies are all about threat of kidnapping, armed robbery and banditry.
“No one, not even myself, is safe. So, this is the situation and that is why we are here to find a way out, which is a must. There is no option because we are thinking of the survival of our people and state.
“It is now a daily occurrence as no day passes without a case recorded. It is not even rustling of cows but now kidnapping of people.
“Our state is currently under serious siege by armed robbers, kidnappers and armed bandits who arrest rural people at the grassroots at will and demand ransom, which if not paid, they kill their victims.
“The Permanent Secretary was just informing me that his close relative was kidnapped and a ransom of N5 million was demanded and the person who took the money to them was shot.
“Some people visited me, and as they left, they were trailed and robbed of their belongings. The armed robbers could not go away with the vehicle because it has security lock on it.
“In the past, they carried out their activities in the middle of the night, but now, they operate at midnight, 10pm and gradually in broad day light.
“It is not up to a month, right here in front of Government House, five electricity poles were carted away. It is getting out of hand that we should not fold our arms. Let’s return to God, let’s pray to Him to salvage the situation. So we must reach a lasting solution at this meeting to curtail this ugly trend.
“The citizens are on daily basis being harassed by bandits and kidnappers that are on rampage in the state.
“The Katsina government organised this one-day joint security and stakeholders meeting to proffer solutions to the state’s current insecurity challenge. “The people of Katsina in the 34 local governments now sleep with one eye closed and the other opened.
“Our state is in a dangerous situation. Travelers are afraid of being stopped on the highway and arrested by kidnappers who demand ransom.”
The meeting, which later went into closed-door session, had in attendance top government functionaries, security chiefs and traditional leaders from the worst hit eight local governments areas, bordering Zamfara State and other selected local government areas.