The Presidency has said that some traditional rulers in Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, are sponsoring banditry hence the spike in violent attacks in the state.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.
“It is not that we are making direct accusations on anyone but it is also true that even in the President’s native state of Katsina, some traditional rulers have been found complicit in collaboration with the bandits to harm their own people.
“In neighbouring Zamfara, emirs and district heads, quite a number of them have been swept out of office. The thing is there are beneficiaries of whatever rotten system you have.”
Shehu said during the height of violent conflicts in Zamfara State, the Nigerian Air Force stationed aircraft in Katsina airport from where they could launch attacks against bandits in Zamfara.
He said once the aircraft takeoff, unscrupulous elements in Katsina would quickly inform the bandits in Zamfara State that an attack was imminent, giving them ample time to take cover.
The President’s spokesman added, “At some point, the Nigerian Air Force had to put a number of aircraft in Katsina, they are still there. In the early part of that operation attacking Zamfara which then was the epicentre.
“They realised that once aircraft took off from Katsina airport, before it got to Zamfara for operation, telephone calls would have been made and targets would have disappeared. In the end, we were forced to be flying from distant places like Kaduna and Kano in order to undertake operations in Zamfara.
“Some people see President Buhari and think he has all the solutions. No. All of us as citizens have a duty to the nation to provide information to our armed forces.”
Katsina State has in recent times seen a spike in cases of banditry which has in turn, led to a series of protests from residents.
Billboards bearing the president’s photographs were last week vandalised as they accused him of failing them.