Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari has said that if the country really intends to control the deteriorating security situation, then it must adopt a multi-level police force, also called the state police.
The governor, whose state has come under intense fire from bandits and insurgents, reiterated his recent call for the people of Katsina to obtain weapons and defend themselves, adding that his government had begun to train people to defend themselves.
While he denounced the growing insecurity in the country, Masari expressed concern that the number of police officers available in his state was less than 3,000 and therefore not enough to protect citizens.
Masari, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, who spoke in a monitored interview on national television over the weekend, therefore reiterated his support for the state police, saying that it was necessary for them to accommodate themselves in the constitution. .
According to him, working with the Nigerian Police, his administration had been training people to defend their villages and communities.
“Knowing very well how long it will take for the police to improve their capacity to provide much-needed security to villages and communities, are you saying that people should just sit back?
“If someone slaps you, the natural instinct is to raise your hands, and if they come with a stick, you take a stick to protect yourself,” he said.
The governor of the president’s home state revealed that this week, his government would complete the training of 500 vigilantes, who were trained by the police and the armed forces, and said that training for another 500 will be completed in the next week.
He said the goal was to have 3,000 trained guards working with the police and other security agencies.
“The situation we have on the ground is such that bandits would come to a village, kidnap and collect more than 500,000 naira from the villagers, and in some cases get five million naira from them.
“And in the same town, when you say come, let’s contribute and train these vigilantes to defend them at night, they wouldn’t give you N20,000,” he said.
Regretting that Katsina, which has an estimated population of between seven and eight million people, the governor claimed that he currently has only 3,000 police officers.
Defending his recent call for citizens to defend themselves as a way out of the current situation, Masari argued that the efforts made by his administration to achieve peace in his first two years in office could not be sustained because the same was not done in Zamfara and some other neighboring states at that time.
“I don’t regret what I said (that people should defend themselves). But what is the natural instinct of every living being? It is to protect yourself against the events happening around you so that you can survive.
“Let me give you a simple scenario. Katsina State in 2006 had a population of 5.6 million, even if we are growing at three percent, what would the population be by 2021?
“We project a population of seven to eight million. Now, what is the total police force in Katsina? The total police force in the state is less than 3,000. So if you divide the number of police officers by the population, you have an average of one police officer for over 200,000 people. What kind of ammunition do the cops have? he said.
Speaking further, Masari explained that, in his state, a local government with 34 policemen had more than 300 towns and cities to protect.
“They (police) lack logistics in terms of equipment to move around, they lack the necessary weapons and above all, they lack the technology.
“If you look at the military, how many are there in Katsina? The army is in all the states of the country, what equipment and level of technology are they applying? Look, when you are faced with the reality of the daily killings, the daily kidnappings, the daily r*pes, and the daily cattle theft, you will understand. At Katsina, we wake up every day to these realities, ”Masari added.
In supporting the legislation against open grazing, the president’s governor said his state had a ranching program that would cost around 12.5 billion naira, of which the federal government was already backing him with 50 percent. , while the state would provide 50 percent.
“When we were children we had communal pasture areas, where sheep, goats, and cattle were taken to graze, without going to other people’s farms,” he recalled.
Therefore, he defended that “we should stop grazing in the open air; it is causing problems, “and he added that,” anyone who lives in the forest, to me, is a criminal. ”
About a week ago, the seemingly defenseless security situation in Katsina had caused two members of the Chamber of the AsambThe state leaders to shed tears publicly as they deliberated on the worsening state of insecurity in the state.
During the plenary chaired by the Speaker, Alhaji Tasi’u Maigari, the Vice President, Alhaji Shehu Dalhatu-Tafoki, in a motion of urgent public importance, condemned how, despite the fact that the government Thanks to the efforts of the security agencies, the situation of insecurity in the state seems to be increasing.
Dalhatu-Taofiki, urged the government, together with the security agencies, to take a new approach and also increase the number of outposts, especially, in the affected areas to tame the threat of banditry in the state.
“The security operation needs to increase its outposts throughout the state, especially in the areas most disturbed by bandits. The outposts in those areas are not enough; they cannot dominate bandits, despite the huge amounts of money spent on them, ”he lamented.
Furthermore, in reaction to the motion, Alhaji Haruna Goma, a member representing the Dandume constituency, could not hold back tears as he recounted how the cruel bandits wasted the lives of no less than 11 people and kidnapped dozens in Dandume recently.
Similarly, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, a member representing the Funtua constituency, also cried why, recounting how thugs terrorized their communities in the past month, killing and kidnapping dozens.
According to the legislator, the challenge of the insecurity plaguing the state was unimaginable, because around 32 of the 34 LGAs in the state were now being threatened by bandits.
In May, the vice president of the state, Shehu Tafoki, also wept profusely as he spoke about the growing insecurity in his constituency. He burst into tears during a special session on the insecurity of the a**embly.
He said barely a day went by without reports of attacks in the area, adding that many had been killed, maimed, and kidnapped.