The Katsina State Government has given armed bandits and kidnappers operating in the area 48 hours within which to drop their arms and embrace government’s dialogue option.
“We have given them till Thursday, January 16, 2020, to release all persons they are currently holding captive and stop further attacks on the people after which we will deploy the full weight of the law on them,” the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Mustapha Inuwa, said on Tuesday evening.
Inuwa who is also, Chairman of government’s security committee spoke on Tuesday at the end of a meeting with a cross-section of the repentant bandits and heads of security services in the state.
After a seeming lull in their activities between September and November last year, there has been a resurgence of attacks and kidnappings across various communities in the state from December 2019 to date.
Reports described government’s peace efforts as having collapsed but Governor Aminu Bello Masari dismissed the notion as he argued last weekend that, “the arms surrendering by bandits agreement is still in place.
“Not all those living in the forest embraced the peace process. Those that didn’t join who are not more than 10 to 15 per cent are still holding until their weapons and are leaders in the forest.
“If you say those that embraced the peace should hand over their arms, the other groups still holding unto their arms may kill them or force them to go back into banditry.
“What those 10 to 15 per cent group want is for the repentant bandits to come back and continue with them. The only way they can protect themselves is by holding onto their weapons.”