By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has called on the military and other security agencies to be holistic in dealing with banditry in order to end the menace once and for all.
Masari made the call when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai at the Government House, Katsina on Monday.
The governor stressed that the only thing the bandits required was superior fire power, adding that they must be dealt with once and for all without giving them opportunity to come back.
He said that bandits and their collaborators in communities, such as informants and suppliers, should be monitored, identified and dealt with accordingly.
The governor, however, said that defeating banditry in the state and other parts of the country required collective action by government, the people and security agencies.
According to him, operations of the military will not be successful without the support of the people.
“There are those in the communities that supply the bandits with information and supplies. They are equally guilty and are our enemies.
“It is not enough to continue to accuse government and the military, but the people have a role to play because security is a collective responsibility.
“The blame game must end in order to be able to defeat these bandits once and for all,” he said.
Masari commended Buratai for his presence in the state, adding that being in Katsina at this time was a morale booster to the people of the state.
He also commended the effort of the military and other security agencies in dislodging bandits in the last one month from their enclaves in forest areas in parts of Katsina and Zamfara States.
Masari pledged continuous government support for the army and other security agencies towards addressing the security challenges in the state.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, who is on operational tour of Army units and formations in the state, commended the governor for his support to military operations in the state.
Buratai said that the deteriorating security situation in the state in recent times was of serious concern to President Muhammadu Buhari, who he said had directed that appropriate steps be taken to curtail the situation.
He said that the Nigerian army had developed new strategies to deal with the current security challenges in the state and the country as a whole.
Buratai explained that the new Operation Sahel Sanity was introduced as part of the new efforts toward addressing the challenges.
He added that the 2020 Nigerian Army Day Celebration had been rescheduled to take place in the state. Also exercise Sahel Sanity has since started with the aim to deal with banditry once and for all.
According to him, the Nigerian army will remain focused to ensure that the security of the state and the nation is guaranteed.
Buratai also proceeded to the Palace of the Emir of Katsina, where he solicited the support and prayers of the Emir, Alhaji Abdulmunini Kabir, in the effort to combat insecurity in the state.
He said that the recent killing of innocent citizens by bandits in parts of the state was unacceptable, adding that there was renewed effort to bring an end to the situation.