Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has asked people of the state to acquire weapons and defend themselves amid attacks by bandits.
Masari argued that it was morally wrong for people to submit meekly to the bandits without any attempt to defend themselves, noting that security was everybody’s business.
According to him people’s inability to fight back has Masari has emboldened the bandits to continue with their heinous activities with murderous frequency, adding that people must divorce their mind from the mistaken notion that security was government’s sole responsibility.
Masari who gave the charge in a statement issued to newsmen by his Director-General on Media, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, stated this in Jibia town Tuesday, when he visited to condole with the people over the death of 10 people, crushed on Monday by the operative of the Nigerian Customs Service.
He assured the people that government was perusing all the necessary legal steps to seek redress for the families of the deceased, as well as those, who sustained various degrees of injuries.
He added that legal experts had already been consulted to advise on the way forward in order to ensure speedy (legal) resolution of the matter.
He, however, cautioned the families of the victims not to succumb to any covert enticement from the Nigerian Customs Service, saying doing so would compromise and jeopardise the government’s efforts to secure justice for the bereaved and injured.
“What Customs operatives are doing is wrong, and therefore unacceptable. Do not succumb to any covert enticement from the customs service, no matter what they offer or promise to do for you.
“Whatever they want to do for you, let it be in the open, not in secret. “If you accept any secret offer, then, you will be truncating government’s efforts to seek justice for you, but if you resist any untoward move, the organisation will then have to rethink its attitude towards its host community”.
Recall that Masari had last week told the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, that the state was under severe attacks by bandits and kidnappers, a situation he said had left 10 out of the 34 local government areas of the state vulnerable.
The governor, who expressed worry over the prevailing security challenges in the state, affirmed that the deteriorating spate of banditry accompanied by kidnapping, raping of innocent women and armed robbery on the state’s highways, were afflicting his government’s effort of restoring peace and normalcy in the state.
Masari, who hinted at this while receiving Yahaya at the Government House, Katsina, said both residents and security agencies must work together to up the ante in the war against bandits, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state.
He said the military and other security agencies in Nigeria needed logistics support and manpower to tackle banditry, kidnapping and other insecurity challenges confronting the nation, particularly in the North-west region of the country.
He, however, called for the deployment of modern technology to tackle insecurity in the country, saying the world has gone into the era of technology, adding that, “with technology, you can fight your war with minimum number of personnel