At least seven persons have been reported killed after bandits attacked several communities in Kasai and Nahuta villages of Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
A resident of Kurmiyal, a neighbouring community, Sama’ila Lihidda, confirmed the incident to Channels Television in a phone call.
Lihidda stressed that the hoodlums attacked the communities last night at about 7:00 pm when the residents were preparing for the evening prayer, Magrib.
Although the police are yet to confirm the incident, the resident said “in Kasai community alone, two persons were killed and five killed in Nahuta community with several others injured.”
“Upon their arrival on motorcycles, the bandits armed with guns, opened fire, shooting sporadically on the air to disperse the people living in Kasai and Nahuta communities,” Lihidda added.
When contacted, the state’s police spokesman, SP Gambo Isah said he is yet to confirm the attack.
“Okay, let me call the DPO of Batsari, I will keep you posted. Thanks,” Isah said.
In the past few years Katsina, along with other northern states, has seen a rise in bandit attacks on villages, prompting calls for increased security for citizens.
Seeking A Solution
On Thursday, members of the Northern Governors Forum met to review the security situation in the region.
The teleconference, which was presided over by the Chairman of the Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, held against the backdrop of recent attacks on communities in northern states by Boko Haram and bandits among other criminals.
During the meeting, the governors were concerned about the level of insecurity in the region and took some measures to address the situation.
Among other resolutions, they agreed to set up a standing committee on security in the North to foster synergy with security agencies in the enforcement of security measures in the region.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, was named as the committee chairman with the Governors Zamfara and Gombe, Bello Matawalle and Muhammad Yahaya, as members.
Another committee headed by Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, with Governors of Adamawa, Niger, and Sokoto States – Ahmadu Fintiri, Abubakar Bello, and Aminu Tambuwal, as members, was set up on the consultation with traditional, religious and community leaders in the North.
According to a statement by the spokesperson for Governor Lalong who is also the Forum’s chairman, Dr Makut Macham, the consultative committee would ensure that there is wider involvement in tackling insecurity in the North.
The governors also resolved to engage local vigilantes, hunters, and community watch groups in the security architecture of the region, to enhance intelligence gathering, rapid response, and sustained surveillance.
They, therefore, called on the Federal Government to closely look into the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons regarding the cross-border movement of herders from other countries into Nigeria, particularly the North.
While commending the security forces for their efforts in tackling insecurity in the region, the governors called for increased synergy to enhance operations and assist in putting an end to the activities of bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and other criminals.
They also agreed to adopt dialogue where necessary while pursuing military measures in dealing with the various security challenges in the North.
On the recent attacks on communities, the governors sympathised with victims and appealed for calm by groups and those affected.
They assured the residents that the Forum, state governments, and the Federal Government were working together to bring the situation under control and address the humanitarian needs of the victims.
The governors asked the Federal Government to accelerate the Livestock Transformation Plan to assist in creating jobs for farmers and herders in the region and the country at large.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to deal with the security situation in the country and the region.