Only 30 policemen protecting 100 Katsina villages, says Masari

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Despite the escalating killings by bandits and other criminal elements in Katsina State, only 30 Policemen provide security in 100 villages in the state.

Although Governor Aminu Masari said the state would in the interim amend its extant laws to give power to village heads and local authorities in the battle against the bandits,” a worried Emir of Katsina Abdulmumin Usman advised him to also consider sending a high-powered delegation of Katsina indigenes to President Muhammadu Buhari on the insecurity in the state.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is however set to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Katsina and other Northwest as well as Northeast states to check banditry and other forms of crimes in the zones.

Masari, at a luncheon by NAF to celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir with frontline troops in Katsina, lamented that the 30 policemen were “gross inadequate” especially now that the bandits had become emboldened.

“This would complement ongoing efforts to emplace a robust community policing structure, whilst addressing the gross deficit in the number of police personnel available at local levels, which is in the range of an average of about 30 policemen to about 100 villages.”

He emphasized that if such actions were not taken, “even if the bandits were wiped out by the military, another generation of criminal elements would quickly take their place in the absence of governance and adequate policing.”

“The bandits are intertwined within the communities so sometimes it may be difficult for the NAF or the Army to distinguish them from the locals in order to conduct offensive operations devoid of collateral damage. The locals must stop giving support, information or safe havens to these criminals,” the governor said.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said arrangements had been concluded to deploy UAVs in Katsina and Gusau in the Zamfara states as part of measures to bring a quick end to the attacks in the Northwest and Northeast.

‘He thanked the President for “the acquisition of unmanned aerial combat vehicle that will be deployed not only in the Northwest Zone but also in Northeast.’’

At a special prayer session involving members of the three arms of government in the state, Emir Usman asked Masari to convene a meeting of eminent Katsina citizens to aggregate suggestions and opinions on the current challenges facing the state and also lead a team to meet the President.

The Emir said “Lack of regular interaction and communication have remained the bane in our quest for development as a state. Our governor needs to rally Katsina citizens and seek suggestions from them in order to proffer solutions to the myriads of challenges facing the state.”

The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) has called on the Federal Government to end the killings in southern Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Taraba and Adamawa states.

It also urged the government to stop banditry and other forms of insecurity in Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, and other states in the northern part of the country.

ECWA made the call in a statement issued at the end of its General Church Council (GCC) meeting held in Jos, Plateau State on Sunday.

The statement partly reads: “Council views with serious concern the unabated attacks of armed men and bandits across the country, especially in the northern states.

“They have continued to destroy lives, farmlands and property of innocent citizens in southern Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Zamfara, Kogi, Adamawa, Katsina, Taraba and Niger states.”

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