By Williams Anuku, Abuja
No fewer than 2000 military personnel have been deployed to Katsina State in a fresh attempt to quell the menace of banditry and kidnapping in the state.
Aminu Masari, Governor of Katsina State confirmed the development on Wednesday, shortly after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He admitted that the challenge before his administration was how to put bandits under checks, so as not to metamorphose into a terrorist group, like Boko Haram.
Masari who spoke with a select State House Correspondents, also decried challenges posed by the rainy season, stressing that it might be herculean for the military to effectively deploy some of their weapons to the swampy areas where the bandits hibernate.
According to him, the commitment of the government to wipe out terrorism and other vices in the North-West has not waned.
It would be recalled that though President Buhari hails from Daura, in Katsina, the state had been in the news for bandit attacks and kidnapping, with several citizens loosing their lives to the incessant attacks.
He said, “Government cannot afford to fold its hands and allow the situation to escalate to something like the Boko Haram menace in the North-Eastern part of the country.
“Currently the military are in Katsina for their annual super camp, and over 2000 of them are gathered in the state, in order to really send a signal to the bandits that the military are ready, willing and they have the capacity to deal with the situation.
“The hope is that the military including the police and other security agencies have been given a marching order by the President to control the situation by all means and it is a task that must be done because we cannot allow the situation in the North-West to develop to a worrisome stage like it is in the North-East.”
The Katsina State Governor said people living in the rural communities can testify that actions are on-going.
He also said those displaced by these attacks are being taken care of.
“Although the rainy season has set in and can pose a challenge to the fight against bandits, government is determined to conquer them.
“You know, the North-Western and North-Central parts of the country where these bandits are is a vast forest area and unfriendly terrain, especially now during the rainy season, moving with heavy military equipment can be very challenging because the soil is soft and the rains are heavy but it is doable.
” No situation is impossible especially to a willing and determined mind so I do believe that we can conquer these bandits and stop them from hibernating into something else,” he stressed.