Security: Hope Brightens In Flushing Out The Bandits from Katsina And Other States In The North West As Niger Supports Nigeria

 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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