Govt officials, security personnel recruiting youths into banditry with N200 – Gov Radda

Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State has accused security personnel and government officials are aiding banditry in the northern region of the country.

Radda, whose state is one of the worst hit by the security challenge in the North West, also believes that the high level of poverty in the country is also a major factor to the prevalence of insecurity.

Governor Radda stated this during an interview with ChannelsTV at the weekend.

“Now it has turned into a business venture for the criminals, some people who are in government, some people who are in security outfits, and some people who are responsible for the day-to-day activities of their people,” Radda said.

This situation, according to him, is partly responsible for the inability of government to end banditry.

He did not agree with suggestions that the security crisis was caused by politics.

”The issue of the hypothesis behind political motive as responsible for banditry is not true,” he said, pointing out that recruitment of youth as bandits, especially in the north, is not difficult.

“With N5,000, N2,000 and N200, you can be able to convince some of these youths to join into this exercise which brings about money,” he said.

Asked if he was disposed to negotiating with bandits as part of the strategy to restore sanity, the governor said his administration would not negotiate from a “point of weakness.”

He said: “When you understand the terrain of the forest and the different camps that we have within those forests… like in Katsina, we have more than 100 different camps that are being led by somebody.

“So, they have many leaders, many camps, and if you’re negotiating with camps A and B and don’t negotiate with camps C and D, it will not bring any lasting peace.

“Even if you negotiate with the leaders, the other followers of the leaders may not necessarily comply with the directives of their leader. So that is what makes negotiation with the bandits a very difficult task,” he said.

“What I said is that I would never go into negotiations with any criminal from the point of weakness.”

He defended the US tour recently undertaken by him and some other governors from the zone on ways of dealing with the security challenge.

“The meeting was not at the instance of the select governors of northern states but it was at the instance of the United States Institute of Peace,” the governor said.

“They were the people who invited us. They hosted us for the meeting. We were invited to sit with them so that we could bring about lasting solutions to the problems that are affecting our people.

“Ten governors were in the United States, Washington D.C, and we had a symposium with the United States Institute of Peace so that we can bring about ideas that will end insecurity that is worrying our people and is a major problem to the sub-nationals, and they carefully chose the governors of the places affected by banditry and kidnapping.

 “All of us sat for three days and we were able to cross-fertilise ideas and interact with all stakeholders that are involved in bringing about lasting peace and security globally.”

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One Comment

  1. May God give us peace in this country at large and give the governors wisdom to their various states well

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