Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari says with the recent activities of bandits and information now at his disposal, he wouldn’t have granted amnesty to bandits as he did years back.
The governor in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today though insisted that he doesn’t regret his action, but previous efforts in 2016 and 2019 have obviously not yielded any positive result.
“I don’t regret it, the only thing I say is with the benefits of hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it. Because at that time when we started in 2016, there were leaders but gradually all the leaders were eliminated, that was the failure of the first round,” the governor said.
“The second round after the 2019 election didn’t see the light of the day. We tried but then we realised that, ‘who are you talking to?’ They are not under the same umbrella. They are not pushing for any religious belief. They are just bandits, criminals, and thieves.”
He stressed that bandits posed great danger to society as their mission is to steal and kill and therefore they should be treated as criminals.
“The reality is, there is nobody in the forest that can discuss peace. For me, anybody in the forest is a potential criminal, so I think it should be dealt with as such,” he added.
Also, during the interview, the governor hinted that his administration is considering banning open grazing in the state.
He, however, said that before a law banning (cattle) roaming is enacted, provisions would be made for where the animals would stay.
Earlier on Monday, the Governor inaugurated a committee charged with monitoring and enforcing the recently introduced executive order in the state and announced a ban on commercial charging of phones.
This according to the governor is part of efforts to tackle insecurity.
Governor Masari believes that the latest measure, coupled with further collaborations with the Federal Ministry of Communications will drastically reduce the menace of banditry in the north-western state.
“The latest instruction that we gave out is the closure of all commercial charging points in the most affected local government areas. Commercial charging, we believe, is also an area which is helping the bandits to acquire means of communication,” he said.
Katsina is one of the states hit the most by the activities of bandits. Over the months, many residents, especially in villages, have been attacked, kidnapped or killed.