Katsina State has in the recent past been bedeviled by resurgence of banditry, kidnappings and cattle rustling. It could be recalled that Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, who was worried by the wanton on destructions of lives and property of the citizenry, has last year dialogued with the bandits in order to stop their nefarious acts of kidnapping, cattle rustling and killings of innocent people of the state. He dialogued with most of the gang leaders of the bandits, that so many of them to laid down their arms and embraced peace, at a ceremony in Kankara town of Kankara local government where notable gang leaders like Buhari Daji and his cohorts surrendered some of their arms.
The second dialogue was early last year where Masari alongside the then commissioner of police in Katsina and the commandant of the Nigerian Army in Katsina and other security operatives serving in Katsina toured the nine frontline local governments hitherto bedeviled by the activities of bandits, where he met with the leaders of the bandits. Consequently, some of the communities started enjoying relative peace. However there were groups of the bandits like those of Dan Karami and Dangote who refused to attend the meetings (dialogues) with the government, saying they would not accept or participate in the peace dialogue with the government. There was however relative peace enjoyed by communities bordering dreaded Rugu forest which is the enclave of the bandits.
The repentant bandits after the first phase of the dialogue used to fight back the unrepentant ones whenever they wanted to attack any communities then. But alas, some of the repentant ones too like Adamu Aleiro Yankuzo used to connive with the unrepentant ones and receive rustled animals from them and then sell at the market and share the proceeds. From then the peace dialogue collapsed and so many repentant bandits took back arms and started attacking the various villagers bordering the Rugu forest and of recent even extend their operations to other local governments not bordering the Rugu forest.
A survivor of the recent attacks in Katsina State, Mallam T.K of Kadisau village, narrated his ordeal to Saturday Telegraph. “The bandits ransacked our village, killed my father, mother and younger brother. That day was a terrible one for me and one which I will never forget in my life.” Similarly, Hassana Mato said they killed her husband, their daughter and her young son, she too said she narrowly escaped being killed. She said: “I narrowly escaped being killed, but my husband, daughter and young son were all killed by the bandits.” An eyewitness from Sabuwa local government Mahammadu Adamu told our correspondent how his neighbour, Mallam Salisu’s wife was sexually assaulted before her husband and afterwards poured battery acid in her private part.
He recalled that even before leaving the house, the bandit requested the second wife of Mallam Salisu to take water to the bathroom for him to have his bath. He said they come into our villages whenever they so pleases and do whatever they want to do with their guns on motorcycles and leave at will. However, Masari in an interactive session with journalist said he feels ashamed to visit any community to symphasise with them, because he feels ashamed that government cannot protect their lives and property.
However early this week the federal government after the protests by youths in Katsina over insecurity bedeviling the Northwest region, NSA, Mohammed Munguno, IGP DSS, NIA, Army and Air force top hierarchy officials visited Katsina held close door meeting with the governor on the security situation in Katsina. Later on, Thursday Governor Masari convened a meeting with Council of Chiefs that includes the Emirs of Katsina and Daura Abdulmumini Kabir and Umar Faruq Umar to find a lasting solution to the security problem in Katsina State.