Telcoms shutdown cut off contact between bandits, informants in Katsina – Masari

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Aminu Masari, Katsina governor, says the measures his administration put in place to tackle banditry in the state are already yielding results.

Masari spoke on Tuesday when he received Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, at the government house in Katsina.

The governor said his administration has been able to fight banditry by suspending telecommunications services in some areas.

He said the move has helped to cut off communication between the bandits and their informants. “It is important because the informants give information to these bandits and now they have been cut off,” he said.

“The demand for ransom has also reduced. We have put the sale of petrol to N5,000 and I think some states (in the north-west) are doing this.

“We have banned the sale of second hand motorcycles in the state. We have also stopped the operation of junction motor parks.”

Masari said bakers have been prohibited from baking bread at night to prevent bandits from purchasing the commodity.

The governor said banditry and insurgency should be completely “extinguished” because they will always come back if not properly dealt with.

“These are different forms of criminality you must extinguish completely. The issue of banditry has nothing to do with religion or ethnicity. They do not fight for any cause.”

Masari expressed dismay over the non-cooperation between vigilante groups and law enforcement agencies, adding that collaboration is pertinent to get rid of the bandits in the north-west.

“We have people who are willing to support the police, army but they (law enforcement agencies) are not welcoming,” he said, stating “Honourable minister, something needs to be done.”

On his part, Mohammed said there is a need for the citizens to know the efforts that are being put in place by the authorities in curbing the menace of banditry.

“This is not a fight for the governor alone or for the military, it is a battle for all of us. We all know who the bandits are. We can see that this problem will only go away if we decide that it must go away,” he said.

“You have sent us to Mr President, I will report back to the president and I will consult with the ministers of interior and defence, we have meetings where we discuss such issues.”

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