Katsina state governor, Aminu Bello Masari said negotiation with bandits attacking and killings people in his state is yielding results.
Masari stated this on Saturday Sepember 21 while speaking with The Nation.
The governor said the move has now brought relative peace with over 80% of people in captivity released.
He also that the move was in the overall best interest of Katsina and other neighbouring states in the Northwest, adding that the next stage of peace restoration is the disarming of bandits and their commanders in the forests which border Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kebbi and Niger states.
“The negotiation is yielding results. Now I can say over 80% of people under captivity in Katsina State have been released. So, in terms of group kidnapping I can only remember that right now only 13 people that we are searching for. We have only 13 people,
“But in terms of massive attacks since we started, there was no single massive attack on any village or any community. By my account, about 57 people have been released by them, most of them women and young children. Among them even are nationals of Niger Republic.
“So, for us it has brought relative peace. The next step is the issue of disarming the bandits and commanders in the forest that command 200, 300, 400 fighters, fully armed on motorbikes.
“That’s how they operate and attack the villages. In most cases they go three to one on a motorcycle. They’ve reinforced their motorcycles and they are using tubeless tyres. They put something inside so that their tyres do not get punctured or breakdown.”
He also disclosed plan to reconcile released bandits with their neighbours for sustainable peace.
“They are ready to disarm but the first stage is about the release of some of them that were not even convicted or even charged to court and by the time they release all those people under their captivity, we will start reconciliation between them and their neighbours.
“And then those in the forest. We’ll start talking about because if they keep the guns and other ammunition with them, they’ll eventually fight among themselves,” he added.
Asked what accounted for banditry in the North-West, the governor quipped: “Lack of education. Failure of leadership for a very long time.”