Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, is under siege by bandits, armed robbers and kidnappers.
The criminals kidnap people at will and demand ransom. If the victims failed to pay the ransom, the bandits, kidnappers and armed robbers kill them at will.
Consequently, Katsina State residents, across the 34 local governments, now sleep with one eye closed and the other opened.
Governor Aminu Masari raised the alarm yesterday during the opening ceremony of an extra-ordinary security meeting at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Katsina.
Masari said daily security reports reaching him indicate that no day passes by without reported cases of kidnappings, armed robbery, cattle rustling, among other related crimes in the state.
He said a group of people that left his residence at about 2a.m. on New Year’s eve, were attacked by a five-man gang of armed robbers who dispossessed them of their belongings.
He also said that a female relation of the Government House Permanent Secretary was recently kidnapped, and that the sum of N5 million was demanded as ransom.
The governor, however, said the man that was delegated to hand over the ransom to the kidnappers was unlucky as he was shot while making delivery of the money.
His words: “The citizens are on daily basis being harassed by bandits and kidnappers that are on the 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.
“Today, from the security reports I received from the Director SS (State Security), all the security reports except one: it is either kidnapping, threat of kidnapping and armed robbery.
“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 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.
“So our state is under siege and it’s growing. That’s why we decided to call for this extraordinary meeting. No one, particularly we, is safe.”
Masari said the situation was so bad that thieves stole some electrical equipment near the Government House at the Government Reserved Area (GRA) in Katsina.
“I am calling on all stakeholders to come out with solutions that will assist the security agencies to discharge their duties,” he said.
The governor urged the stakeholders not to hide any criminal, and reveal vital information about criminals during the meeting.
“This time around, we should be able to make sacrifices that will make our state safe and will allow people to go about their lawful business without fear of being arrested by armed bandits and kidnappers.
The meeting later went into close door session shortly after the governor finished speaking.
Soldiers, the Police, Department of Security Service (DSS) and other security outfits and traditional rulers attended the meeting.