Katsina State Government has proposed a carrot approach towards ending the lingering banditry in the state and is dangling houses, market stalls and farmlands to bandits willing to surrender and hand over their arms to security operatives.
It was gathered that a leader of the bandits known as’’ Sada’’, has voluntarily surrendered to troops at Forward Operation Base at Dansadau and submitted three AK 47 rifles, one sub-machine gun and two magazines.
The Secretary to Government (SSG), Mustapha Inuwa, announced the Aminu Masari administration’s soft-landing measures for would-be repentant bandits during a news conference at the Government House on Monday.
Inuwa, who also disclosed that the state had so far supported security agencies with N4.274b, said the resettlement centres near Rugu, Yantumaki, Maidabino and Sabwa/Faskari forests for the repentant bandits is being planned by the government.
According to him, the centres would have schools, health care centres, markets and farmlands for cattle rearing as well as farming.
He said: “We have completed plans for those who accept to leave to an approved settlement near Rugu Forest, this is part of a design by the government to clear the forests from being inhabited by bandits, the committee is set to work on the in needed infrastructure any time from now’’.
“Some the settlement areas being considered include, Yantumaki-Maidabino forest area and Sabwa/Faskari forests’’.
He explained that the N4.274b financial support to security outfits was used for the provision of infrastructure, logistics and payment of allowances of security personnel.
Inuwa also explained that “the recent presidential directive on change of strategy, renewed vigour and increased personnel in the military campaign against security challenges in the Northwest and Katsina state in particular,” had led to a reduction in the atrocities of bandits.
“The incidence of armed banditry and kidnapping and other forms of criminalities for ransom have significantly subsided compared to few months back when these incidences were a daily occurrence,’’ he said.
The Acting Director, Media Operations of the Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, said Dada surrendered following intensified pressure by Operation SAHEL Sanity.
He said that the bandit was currently being profiled for further necessary action by the civil authorities.
Onyeuko also disclosed that troops conducting stop- and -search along Bingi Road arrested a suspected bandit, Isah Shehu.
He said that investigation revealed that Shehu, addressed as “Commander” by members of his group, concealed a camouflage in his bag.