The minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has again reassured Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration will conquer banditry and other security issues like previous Nigerian leaders.
Nigeria has been faced with growing cases of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and other security challenges in the past months.
Katsina, one of the North-western states, has been one of the states most affected bybbanditry with multiple attacks in recent times.
In September, no fewer than 24 persons, including 21 suspected armed bandits and three military personnel, lost their lives during a shootout between troops and bandits in the state, The Guardian reported.
Speaking during a town hall meeting on matters of internal security and conflict resolution in Katsina on Thursday, Mr Aregbesola stated that the activities of armed bandits in the North-west has heightened in the past decade which is a major concern and challenge of governance to the federal government.
In his speech, the former Osun State governor said that they are in Katsina to seek cooperation with the government and good people of the state on how to bring an immediate end to the menace, so as to restore normal life, especially to the rural areas and the farming community.
“Our pledge to you here today is that we are ready and committed to this mission. As we all know, no military campaign can succeed without the cooperation and support of the people. Our mission here therefore is to meet with the Stakeholders, listen to you and work out how we can best work together to succeed in this endeavour,” the minister was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mohammed Manga.
According to Mr Aregbesola, “banditry has been defeated and exterminated in the past and the President Muhammadu Buhari Government by the grace of God is going to achieve this also.”
He added that the Nigerian security architecture will hunt the perpetrators except they repent.
The minister, who reiterated that the President and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) are in great pain over the wanton killings, thefts and destruction being perpetuated by these criminals, assured that the total might of the federal government will soon be brought on them.
“I am assuring you that all the total, brutal and ferocious might of the federal government will be brought on them. The Nigerian security machine will be unleashed in its fury, the way we have never seen before. The sickening criminal acts of these evil people will be brought to an end and all citizens will have assurance of peace and safety once again”, he emphasized.
In his response, the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, promised that the state will give total support to the federal government in its bid to stamp out crime from the state.
Also speaking, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, extended the federal government’s condolences to the families of those that lost their lives and properties and assured them that government is determined to stem the hazard out of the country
At the meeting, the stakeholders requested for more of the federal government’s presence in the state, engagement of local vigilantes who are closer to the people and ready to respond at a short notice.
More so, they urged police, civil defence and other security agencies to take new community-based actions in order to identify all bandits and that the government should utilise the forests harbouring the bandits as well as deployment of more Agro Rangers.