A DELEGATION of military chiefs led by Maj.-Gen. B.I. Ahanotu yesterday arrived in Katsina to assess the escalation of killings by bandits and to map out strategies aimed at putting a stop to banditry and kidnapping as ordered by President Muhammad Buhari last Wednesday.
Gen. Ahanotu told the Deputy Governor, Manir Yakubu, who stood in for Governor Aminu Bello Masari, that they were sent by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin and the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai, to assess the attacks by bandits in the state, particularly the killings in Batsari and other local government areas.
The General added that they were visiting to commiserate with the government and people and to reiterate the commitment of security agencies to security of lives and property
The deputy governor lamented that Katsina is in a state of mourning because of incessant attacks by bandits, kidnappers and other security challenges.
He thanked the President for responding to the distress call from the state, saying the citizens were happy that the President wasted no time in sending an assessment team, especially after receiving a briefing from the governor on Wednesday.
He said: “When we came to power, we did introduce several initiatives aimed at improving security in the state. But Katsina is not an island, it shares border with neighbouring states. So, the relative peace we often enjoyed is severely jeopardised.
“Certainly, there is a great and urgent need for a quick solution to our predicament and to bring peace to the state.
“Rainy season is here and our people are warming up to go back to the farms.
“Again, the Rugu forest may not be accessible again due to heavy rainfall.”
Yakubu assured the military delegation of state government’s support and assistance to ensure a quick job is done and that peace is restored.
But, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr. Abba Abdullah, yesterday dismissed fears about impending food scarcity in the state as being expressed in several quarters due to the incessant banditry attacks which is accompanied by the burning of farmlands and sacking of farmers, particularly in the rural communities of the state.
In an interview with The Nation, Abdullah said it was too early to express such fears, considering the fact that only two of the 34 local government areas namely: Batsari and Danmusa were the worst hit by the banditry attacks.
He said: “You can’t say that the situation which is presently obtainable in Batsari and Danmusa is capable of creating food scarcity or supply in the state. It is difficult to predict at this stage. May be if the situation persists, yes. But, as it seems now, several strategic security measures are being put in place to address the insecurity challenges in the state, especially with the Wednesday’s directive of Mr. President to the IGP and CGS on Katsina killings.
‘’May be we may experience brief shortages in supply as a result but not outright food scarcity.’’
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