Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina has implored the military to prove its might by intervening and dealing decisively with bandits who have been disrupting peace in the state.
Masari made the call on Friday when he received a delegation of military top officers who were on a courtesy visit to the governor at the General Muhammadu Buhari Government House, Katsina.
He noted that they had initially engaged peace and dialogue with the recalcitrant Nigerians to see how best peace could be restored without firing of bullets.
The governor explained that they had first chosen peace and dialogue “because people fighting themselves are neighbours; it was initially between farmers and herders. Gradually, it has developed to between herders and herders because they are stealing from themselves.
“So what we are doing is uniting neighbours who are hitherto enemies and today they patronize the same market, attend funerals and functions of each other as they use to do. And gradually, we believe normalcy is returning.
“Still, there is suspicion on the part of herders and sedentary Fulanis who are farmers. So most of the people living around the forest are sedentary Fulanis.
“In the period of transition, from violence to peace there are challenges. These are the challenges we are facing on daily basis. There are also criminals monitoring whatever you do to sabotage the effort and contrary to the norms. My position is simple, all those recalcitrant bandits should not be spared.
“We went out to say they should embrace peace and dialogue, so anybody who breaches the initiative before the time we concluded should be dealt with so that the right message is sent to others,” Masari stated.
The governor assured the military that he would continue to support them and other security agencies to ensure that peace was restored to the state entirely.
He stated that the support from his government was part of its responsibility to protect the lives and property of the general citizens.
Governor Masari noted that failure on the part of governments to put in place some long term plans to curb bandits’ activities, had led to the current situation in the state.
He, however, promised that his government would do all it could to ensure that the banditry issues were put to check, with adequate plans that will contain future occurrences.