Killings in Katsina state: President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a joint military and police operation specifically targeted at combing Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States to rid the areas of bandits, while assuring Nigerians that surveillance will be improved, with more night vision aircrafts already deployed under “Operation Accord’’.
According to a press statement released by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, the operation was launched three weeks ago.
He therefore assures Nigerians, again, that the nation’s armed forces are fully capable of dealing with the challenges of banditry and terrorism, urging more patience as the military takes appropriate steps to block gaps being exploited to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.
“Nigeria’s military has displayed its capabilities in the past and will show it again by dealing with the current challenges,” the President says.
“President Buhari appeals to the people of Katsina State to be patient and supportive of the ongoing military operations in the state, while sympathizing with those who are bereaved, injured and lost properties.
President Buhari admonishes that taking to the streets for protest could distract the military operations, urging “Katsina indigenes not to give up on the military who over the years have a strong track record of quelling crises once given enough time.
“The major forests in North Western Nigeria have been identified as home to the bandits in the region. The operation will clear all these forests,’’ he further stated in the statement.
Earlier today (Tuesday 16th June), Premium Times reports that hundreds of youth across Katsina State converged on Katsina town to protest the killings and wanton destruction by gunmen in their respective localities.
The peaceful protest, convened by Coalition of Northern Group (CNG) and Citizens Participation Against Corruption Initiative, was flagged off at Kofar Soro and concluded at the old Government House, Katsina.
The convener, Jamilu Charanci, said the protest was meant to express dissatisfaction over the government’s failure to deliver on its primary responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of its citizens.
He said the government has also failed to defend and protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria as more gunmen are invading from other neighbouring countries and launching attacks in Nigeria.
Mr. Charanci said the protest was part of their constitutional rights to demands actions from their representatives to bring an end to the security situation across the North. Katsina State is the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Earlier, the national coordinator of the group, Nastura Shareef, said the protest will hold across northern states on Saturday to demand for improved security and an end to the killings, kidnapping and wanton destruction of properties across the North.
He said the peaceful protest is also a renewed call to let go the heads of Nigerian security service chiefs because their hold onto power has degenerated to more blood baths and security breaches across the north.
The National Assembly had recommended the removal of the service chiefs over their failure to protect the lives of Nigerians. However, the president insisted on working with them despite the failure, the youth leader said.
‘Enough is enough, a cogent step has to be taken to halt the atrocities that have gripped the northern states. For about eleven years the north has known no peace,’ Mr. Shareef said.
“We’re no longer convinced on the president’s directives on security issues and press releases condemning attacks because he has been doing so for so long, but nothing has changed. What we need now is to stop the massacre in the north,” he added.