‘Defend yourself against bandits,’ Masari tells Katsina residents

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GOVERNOR Aminu Masari has asked the people of Katsina State to acquire weapons and defend themselves against bandits.

Masari, according to a statement issued by his media aide, Abdu Labaran, yesterday, made the call when he visited Jibia town to condole with the families of 10 people crushed to death recently by vehicles of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

Katsina had recorded several attacks by bandits in the last few months.

The governor stressed that it was morally wrong for people to submit cheaply to the bandits without making any attempt to defend themselves.

He said: “It is the people’s meek submission that emboldens the bandits to continue with their heinous activities with murderous frequency.

“People must divorce their minds from the mistaken notion that security is the government’s sole responsibility.”

The governor assured the people of Jibia that those killed by the customs operatives would not die in vain.

Masari added: “Government is perusing all the necessary legal steps to seek redress for the families of the deceased as well as those who sustained various degrees of injuries.

“Legal experts have been consulted to advise on the way forward and ensure speedy resolution of the matter.”

The governor cautioned the families of the victims not to succumb to any attempt by Customs to entice them.

“Doing so will compromise and jeopardise the government’s efforts to secure justice for the deceased and injured.

“What customs operatives are doing in the state is wrong, and unacceptable.

“Do not succumb to any covert enticement from the Customs, no matter what they offer or promise to do for you.

“Whatever they want to do for you, let it be in the open, not in secret.

“If you accept any secret offer, then you will be truncating the government’s efforts at getting justice for you. But if you resist any untoward move, the organisation will then have to rethink its attitude towards its host community,” Masari concluded.

The hoodlums had on December 13 last year abducted over 300 students at the Government Science Secondary School in the Kankara area of the state.

The bandits returned a few days later and kidnapped 80 children from an Islamiyya school in Mahuta town, Dandume local government area of the state.