GOVERNOR Aminu Masari has called on local residents in Katsina State to arm themselves and confront the bandits operating within their communities because security officials cannot tackle the growing insecurity alone.
Katsina, like other states across northwest Nigeria have been ravaged by violence and armed banditry of late, with criminals running riot. Across Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto and Kebbi, states, armed hoodlums have launched a reign of terror with hundreds of people being killed or kidnapped and thousands more displaced from their homes.
Speaking at the Muhammadu Buhari House in Katsina, Governor Masari said the number of security personnel is not enough to tackle the situation. He added that the state government would help those who plan to own arms with the view to bringing about an end to banditry.
Governor Masari said: “It’s Islamically allowed for one to defend himself against attack. One must rise to defend himself, his family and assets. If you die while trying to defend yourself, you’ll be considered a martyr.
“It’s surprising how a bandit would own a gun while a good man trying to defend himself and his family doesn’t have one. We’ll support those who come with the initiative to procure arms because residents need to also complement the efforts of security agencies.
“These people, the security agents don’t have the number to protect the people. When President Buhari came, he even tried by increasing the number of our security agents but it’s inadequate. Count it yourself, how many policemen do we have in this country? How many soldiers do we have?
“Even if we say every policeman should go back to his home state, it’ll still not be enough. So, if we fold arms and decide to do nothing, we’ll be the ones to suffer most.”
He added that the police would register all guns bought by local residents to ensure they are put to the right use. Katsina is President Buhari’s home state and has been one of the epicentres of banditry, with one attack even coming during a presidential visit.