By Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The Katsina State Government has said the incessant kidnapping, banditry and other heinous crimes bedevilling the state may affect a hitch-free general election in the state.
This is even as the state has identified lack of synergy between the affected states of Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Borno, Maradi (Niger Republic) and inadequate security personnel and logistics as factors responsible for the menace across the North-west.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, stated this Thursday evening while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the extra-ordinary security meeting with state security chiefs, traditional institutions, civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations held last Wednesday.
He said: “Certainly if you allow these things to continue, whether you like it or not in some areas it will affect the election. Like in the frontline areas that you are talking about.
“So we have to secure the places before the election. We all agreed that the affected states including Niger Republic must come together and fight this thing at once.”
Inuwa added that: “The number of people kidnapped in Katsina within six to eight weeks now, I believe has been so much. If you look at the record of kidnapping we had before now, this current number has overthrown the record. It is sad and no responsible government will allow this to happen.”
On what the state government is doing to curtail the menace, Inuwa said: “The governor has set up a committee chaired by SSG to look at all the issues and advise him on how to address the menace. In the matter of weeks this issue will be dealt with.”
He however accused people whom he described as local informants for the persistent cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and cattle rustling in the state.
“It is believed by almost everybody that most of this kidnapping cases are planned and perpetrated by people living together in communities. They have informants that always inform them of the movement of individuals and their targets,” he explained.
Inuwa however called on the governors of the affected states to work together in order to curb the menace by equipping security personnel with modern fighting apparatus to fight the perpetrators of the heinous acts.
According to him, “It is also decided that the security personnel particularly the police are grossly inadequate. Therefore, the governor solicits the assistance of the Inspector General of Police (IG) to increase the number of security personnel to the state.
“We are determined to bring to an end the security situation facing the state before election. The security situation is not peculiar to Katsina alone but we as a government have moral bond and responsibility to secure lives and properties of our people.”