By Suleiman Adamu, Sokoto
Northwest Governors’ Forum Chairman and Governor of Katsina State , Rt. Honourable Aminu Bello Masari has said that the spate of banditry and killings in the region is unacceptable, urging all to rise in unity to fight the war and conquer the nation’s territorial borders by ending banditry.
According to him” we must sit up and avoid blame game as those perpetrating the heinous attacks are not Angels but human beings like us.”
Masari spoke in Sokoto Wednesday when he and his Kano state counterpart , Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje paid condolence and sympathy visit where he presented donation of N50 million on behalf of the forum to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state over the recent attack on bus passengers from the state heading for Kaduna that led to the death of 23 persons.
Though, the former HoRs Speaker who noted that it was the responsibility of leaders to ensure lives and property of citizens were protected and secured , insisted that ” is our collective responsibility as we have a unique problem which requires collective and practical solutions”, he pointed out.
” Leaders are ultimately responsible even as the liabilities are on all of us. No cowardice , we all have roles to play. Government is to provide leadership and followers as foot soldiers “, Masari said.
Masari stated that the recurring banditry activities has no religious nor tribal influence, adding that ” we are dealing with people worst than animals as they oil without reason”, he alarmingly observed.
This, the governor described as an unusual situation which also required an unusual approach for solution without fear.
” We have to wake up . Running away will not help us rather stand firm to over come the evil.”
The governor disclosed that they were working and making frantic efforts to tackle the menace while decrying the insignificant proportion of security personnel to the larger population.
” Equipping security personnel with modern devices and techniques will strengthen their capacity and curtail the trend with some ease” , he said.
In his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who described the situation as an issue of grave concern noted that it was a national problem.
” We need to key in our efforts through strategic approach which is every ones business at national, state, local government levels.
” Unless we are conscious of these, we are only declaring a war but not able to drive the course “, he stressed.
The governor opined two approaches to tackle the security challenges in the region and nation by reclaiming the forests and use of technology.
” We have to take ownership of all our forests from the bandits through enhanced security operations using a blunt and explicit plan and line of action through coordinated flow and use of information in am organised manner on strange and suspicious characters and activities around us by responsive community policing to curtail the menace”, he explained.
Responding, Governor Tambuwal who thanked the two governors who were accompanied by Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya and HORs Leader, Alhasaan Doguwa said all hands mist be on deck , noting that the inhuman attacks were carried out by elements with no ideology nor projecting any ideology.
According to the governor ” they are targeting all of us irrespective of religion, tribe or region. That is the basic fact and we should stop blame game and show more understanding towards ending the problem by ensuring the establishment of a special force team that can be recruited from the affected areas and trained to face them
He however, reiterated his appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to endorse his request of imposing state of emergency on the affected communities such that security operatives would face the areas and enclaves with the backing of the law to avoid violating human rights .
” Since the court has declared them terrorists and we are waiting for the FG to finally endorse it which the President will do “, he said.