By Suleiman Umaru
For the past four years, the people of Dandume, Sabuwa, Faskari, Kankara, Danmusa, Safana,Batsari and Jiya, the eight local government areas, described as flashpoints, in Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari home state , have never known peace.
This is because of the activities of Cross- Border Bandits who enter the local government areas to attack , loot shops and go. The ongoing joint security Operations tagged Ex-Swift Response, across the country’s Borders in the north west, north east, south west and south –south, and the Central African country of Cameroon, Coordinated by Babagana Muguno, a retired Major general and National Security Adviser, NSA, appears to have exposed the west African countries of Niger, Chad, and the Central African country of Cameroon of providing the window for Cross –Border Bandits to enter the country, particular, north west geo-political region states of Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina crossing over to villages in Zamfara, Katsnia , and Sokoto .
The situation became so worrisome In Katsina, that Buhari, ordered Tukur Buratai, A Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff and Abubakar Sadiq, an Air Marshal and Chief of Air Staff, including Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to take a decisive security measure to stop the Bandits. The Presidential directive may have forced the security agencies to step up their intelligence gathering to smoke out the Bandits from their hideouts in different parts of the north west , forcing them to relocate to Niger, their operational base.
Aminu Masari, the governor of Katsina state , may have known that the only way to deal with the Banks in the region was obviously to carry the Nigerien Authorities along. This may have informed the recent security meeting at the Prefecture Maradi with Zakhari Umaru, in Niger.
Masari, was said to have accompanied to the meeting by Mustafa Mohammed Inuwa, the Secretary to the state government, Muhammadu Bello Matawallin Maradu, governor of Zamfara state, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto, and Senator Atiku Bagudu,the governor of Kebbi state. The meeting, according to security sources, was coming on the heels , on the ongoing reconciliation overtures by Masari and the Commanders of the various separate Camps of the Bandits attacking and looting villages in the eight flashpoint local areas in the state. The assaults on the villages , Massari had said, had resulted in hundreds of deaths and destruction of properties worth millions of naira.
Eyewitness account said the Maradi closed door security meetings in the neighbouring Niger, had centered its discussion on the issues of Cross-Border Banditry and other forms of criminality in the region. They were said reached into conclusion that the target eight local government areas in Katsina state attacked by the Cross –Border Bandits are all Contagious to the expansively famous Rugu forest in Niger.
The Katsina governor governor, who has the backing of the President , is optimistic that the ongoing re-approachment with the local Bandits , that the Maradi security talks , would go a long way to reinforce the giant stride that had had been made in containing the activities of the Bandits in the state in the recent months. Massari has every reason to think so. This is because the Nigerians security Operatives have no option but to come out in full force to support the Nigerian security agencies personnel to effectively block Maradi , Border axis , which provides the widow through with smuggled arms , ammunitions, Bandits and foreign Insurgents often found their way into Zamfara, Sokoto , Katsina and Kebbi, all states in the north west.
Pror to the ongoing joint security Operations across the nation’s land Borders, the Banks, had attacked a village in Safana local government in Katsina state killing about 10 person. TBandits who were said to be over 100 in number , according to security sources were on reprisal attack on the Kirtawa Community.
Police sources disclosed that at the time the Combined security Forces were mobilised into the village to arrest the hoodloms , they had escaped to the Rugus forest, which many believe may no longer be the case of the Nigerien security Operatives at Maradi, in neighbouring Niger, could be alive to their duties by keeping to their promise to do so as signed by Zakhari, the Prefecture of the Province .
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