The North-western Governor’s Forum has said that to have a banditry-free society, all stakeholders must show commitment to fighting the menace.
Chairman, of the Forum, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State said this on Thursday in Abuja when he led a delegation of the Forum on a condolence visit to Sen. Aliyu Wamakko (APC-Sokoto).
Some indigenes of Sokoto State were recently killed by bandits some of whom were locked up in a bus and set ablaze.
He said: “We were in Sokoto State earlier to sympathise with the government and immediate families of those who were brutally killed in the name of banditry.
“The issue of banditry in the northwestern part of the country is not beyond us.
“We know the problem and the solutions are something that we as a people are capable of doing.
“This is provided that all of us take responsibility and stop the blame game.
“Banditry, especially our own in the northwestern part of the country can easily be dealt with if all hands are put on deck.
“This is because it has no religious colouration, no ethnic colouration, it is not ideological. It is simply pure criminality,” he said.
While acknowledging that the Nigerian Police had limitations in fighting insecurity, Masari said that security agencies required technologies to effectively tackle the challenge.
“We need to know where the bandits are recruited, at what price are they recruited, all these are issues that are very well known to us.
“These are issues we should have the capacity to do provided there is determination, there is leadership and there is political will.
“We have no alternative; we have to conquer our environment in order to survive in it.
“We in the northwestern governor’s forum together with the governors of Plateau, Nasarawa and Niger are working with the Federal Government to come up with strategies and solutions.
Similarly, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State said that blaming each other would not bring any solution to the security challenge.
“We have seen a lot in this country. The issue started with cattle rustling that looked so simple and so indigenous.
“We did not even investigate it to find out what was its root cause.
“Cattle rustling has graduated to kidnapping, kidnapping graduated to banditry while we are fighting Boko haram on the other side.
“We have to break that cycle. Our first challenge is how we reclaim our forests without being affected by the bandits,” he said.
Proffering solutions, Ganduje said that data must be sourced while also calling for the use of technology in the fight against insecurity.
“There must be planning, there must be data, there must be commitment, there must be a timeline for whatever we are going to do. How far have we involved communities?
“We must go back to the drawing board. The communities need to be involved, there must be community policing,” he said.
While appreciating the delegation for the visit, Wamakko, also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Defense, said the approach to the fight against banditry should be modified. (NAN)