Ibrahim Katsina is the Particular Adviser to Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, on safety issues. The previous director on the State Security Service (SSS) has been coordinating the combat towards insecurity within the banditry-prone state since 2019.
On this interview, he tells PREMIUM TIMES why the state authorities determined to contain conventional rulers in its marketing campaign towards insecurity.
PT: The safety scenario in Katsina is dire as in most states within the North-west area of Nigeria. What’s the state authorities doing to reverse the scenario?
Mr Katsina: Properly, the overall safety scenario in Katsina is bettering regularly as a result of we’re on high of the scenario and we’re additionally understanding the dynamics of the threats and we have now been doing the needful by means of group networking and synergy. The assaults have additionally decreased drastically and we’re completely satisfied for that. What we’d like now could be cooperation from the general public to know us and volunteer info on informants (of bandits) as a result of with out such cooperation, there isn’t a method you’ll be able to obtain what you set to attain. However usually, the extent of understanding we’re getting from the individuals is spectacular and I’m positive we’ll succeed.
God has been on our aspect and the outcomes are on the market for all to see. We’re profitable towards the bandits. Even if the difficulty is multifaceted, I can guarantee you that we have now been recording success. We aren’t there but however we will win. Crucial factor in points like that is to seek out out what the issue is and we have now came upon what the issue is and we have now made plans and measures are being taken.
PT: What precisely have you ever came upon about the issue and what measures have the state authorities taken to deal with the scenario?
Mr Katsina: You get outcomes by means of group networking. The challenges we face are locally-oriented that began from the agricultural areas. For these crimes, we’d like native content material resolution and that’s the reason I stated our synergy with the members of the general public in native areas and safety companies has been yielding optimistic outcomes. For those who mixture the quantum of the menace perspective in Katsina and evaluate it to different states within the Northwest area, you’ll positively give us a go mark as a result of the measures we have now put in place are serving to us to beat the challenges. What we’re doing to this point has been paying positively.
PT: Is what you might be dong sufficient when it comes to influence?
Mr Katsina: No. I do know that we’d like a everlasting resolution. As I said elsewhere, we have to discover options which can be long-lasting. Throughout Mr President’s final go to, he ordered the governors within the area to convey an finish to banditry and I’m telling you they’ve began tapping from what we have now achieved; that’s group networking.
Even neighbouring states are copying our methods due to how efficient they’re. I’m positive you already know the effectiveness of our three-tier committee. We now have additionally included individuals we all know have data of social points and insecurity. Individuals like Mamman Dan Musa, Dr. Bashir Kurfi and others have been co-opted as a part of our efforts to check the difficulty holistically.
PT: Inform us about that group networking and why you suppose it’s efficient.
Mr Katsina: Thanks. We now have enacted a regulation on three tiers safety association which is giving an impetus to safety administration. That regulation, by means of involvement of conventional rulers, is the most effective resolution to safety challenges, not solely in Katsina or the north however the entire nation. While you go to international locations like UK and others, they nonetheless respect their conventional establishments. In England, the Queen remains to be very robust and influential. So, why not in Nigeria?
We’re altering the dynamic of safety administration by domesticating it and making it responsive. This association includes everybody and never essentially solely the standard rulers. However we wish them to be absolutely concerned as a result of they’re the following to the individuals, particularly within the rural areas. We imagine that by partaking the standard establishments, we’re reviving their function, particularly in figuring out threats to avert drawback. Our conventional rulers was once vibrant however the native authorities reforms of 1976 took away their function which we determined to present again to them.
PT: Do you suppose that can remedy the issue?
Mr Katsina: That is a part of many plans to convey an finish to the menace. When one thing happens in a group, we count on the instant conventional ruler to know and likewise be capable of unravel the character of the crime and who can commit such crime as a result of we imagine most of those bandits aren’t from some other place; they’re individuals identified within the society.
We’re regularly co-opting the standard rulers into our calculations. And I additionally wish to remind individuals to know that you just can’t make change in a single day. We are going to regularly attain our vacation spot. If we will cooperate with this association, I’m positive that the whole lot will probably be historical past. You understand all these points are attributable to hostilities between teams and other people. When somebody does one thing to you and you are feeling he has cheated you and the instant conventional ruler in your group has the facility to take a seat you two down and ship judgment on the difficulty, why would there be hostility?
PT: Regardless of assurances that you’re on high of the scenario, how was it doable for bandits to abduct over hundred of individuals at a time, just like the Kankara college students and worshippers in Jibia, and conceal them from the group, authorities and safety officers with out hint?
Mr Katsina: Many of the kidnappers are Fulanis; they know the terrain greater than the safety brokers. That is an uneven warfare; the enemy has its personal recognized goal they usually assimilate with the group, establish with the individuals of the group and undertake assaults. That was why I stated earlier that it is a native problem and native leaders must be concerned. These bandits are native individuals disturbing their very own group, a father being kidnapped by his son and so forth. How do you remedy this problem with out understanding the dynamics of the battle?
However thanks be to God now that we have now recognized that such issues occur due to the data of the bandits as regards the forest, therefore our resolution to contain the standard rulers and different native stakeholders to assist in containing the menace. And I’m proud to say that Katsina State Authorities is doing what has not been in existence since after the arrival of colonial masters. By involving conventional rulers within the actions of their domains, we’re saying that individuals who know the terrain, who know the realm very effectively needs to be concerned.
PT: Governor Masari and a few of his officers had been seen in public conferences with a few of these bandits. What kind of engagement is the state authorities having with bandits?
Mr Katsina: That was earlier than and I used to be not the safety adviser then. However to be truthful and sincere to them, the state authorities then thought dialogue or to make use of your phrase, engagement, was the one method out of it. In each battle, dialogue is an choice. Governor Masari is an individual of integrity and he’s very humane. He went to take a seat with the bandits, hoping that it will remedy the issue. However when he realised the bandits weren’t honest, he stopped all engagements with them. Masari has achieved his greatest and he needed to discover a lasting resolution.
Dialogue just isn’t dangerous. Have a look at how subtle the U.S is however it has to take a seat and dialogue with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
PT: Is dialogue nonetheless an choice?
Mr Katsina: We had been betrayed by the bandits and I do know the governor has made it clear that he wouldn’t be in dialogue with them once more. However we’re discovering different options. The problem is difficult they usually (bandits) have contacts with many individuals who inform them of plans to assault them.
PT: Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai stated he doesn’t imagine in negotiating with bandits and kidnappers. He believes that different North-west governors ought to have interaction the bandits with drive alone…
Mr Katsina: (cuts in) Katsina is Katsina, Kaduna is Kaduna. I’ve no authority and I can’t communicate for Kaduna. However I do know that the choice the governor took was based mostly on his conviction that Kaduna can combat insecurity with out discussing with bandits. So far as I’m involved, the difficulty of Kaduna State relies on the understanding of the dynamics of the challenges dealing with them.
PT: However the safety challenges are the identical…
Mr Katsina: Sure. However completely different strategy. I problem anyone, together with you journalists, to do a comparative evaluation on which state within the Northwest is doing higher in combating insurgency than Katsina.
We now have handed the stage of dialogue too. This three-tier committee association is our new strategy to the difficulty so it’s not all about dialogue. Our plans have gone past dialogue. Dialogue is an archaic, quaint side of combating banditry. What we’re doing now could be to deal with the explanations for banditry and to not sit and focus on with bandits.
PT: Do democratic establishments like chairmen and councillors have roles within the three-tier committee?
Mr. Katsina: Sure. The chairmen and councillors within the native areas are part of the committee. The regulation has given them roles as a result of they too are a part of the group. They’re all members of our ward councils. You understand we have now ward council, village council and district council. Chairmen and councillors are positively a part of it they usually know the function we gave them.
This committee will assist safety brokers to loosen up and do their actual obligation of augmenting the efforts of the group. We’re doing home strategy.
PT: What’s the place of Katsina State on state police?
Mr Katsina: We now have an motion committee on state policing. While you do correct group policing, you don’t want state police. The agitations for state police is due to the absence of efficient group policing. The entire essence of policing is to construct belief and confidence and you may have it with an efficient group policing.
PT: Has your workplace achieved another factor aside from the three-tier safety committee?
Mr Katsina: Sure. I’ve additionally inaugurated a particular committee to combat drug abuse and trafficking. It contains influential individuals and safety brokers and conventional rulers. We meet frequently to debate points, particularly on how one can deal with the circulation of arduous medication within the state. We now have made headway on it too as a result of it helps in ensuring that the medication don’t attain bandits and different criminals. Everyone knows that medication assist them in changing into daring and heartless.
PT: Let’s discuss gun buying and selling particularly with Katsina being a border state. Have you ever achieved something to deal with gun buying and selling within the state, like reaching out to Niger Republic to have a standard strategy?
Mr Katsina: I’m positive you’ve got heard of ECOWAS Protocol. I gives you an instance. After we launched this committee in Mai’Adua Native Authorities Space, a standard ruler instructed us that there was a fugitive working from the regulation from Niger Republic who had constructed a sachet water manufacturing facility within the space. Due to our committee, he was unearthed and brought again to Niger. I gave you this straightforward instance that with the ECOWAS Protocol, we is not going to have drawback of cross-border crimes. So, I guarantee you that nobody can commit crime or have interaction in gun-running from Niger and discover it simple right here as a result of the instant conventional ruler within the space can be concerned and investigation can be made as to who precisely the particular person is.
In conditions the place we have now circumstances like that of gun-running, we have now methods of reaching out to the nation by means of the suitable safety means. The latest killing of a infamous bandit who kidnapped an previous girl in Daura and took her to Jigawa State was achieved by means of this association. There are a number of successes made by the safety brokers within the state.
PT: What’s your name to the individuals, particularly these within the frontline native authorities areas?
Mr Katsina: I need them to know the scenario, to know the efforts we’re making as a authorities and to know the efforts and sacrifices the safety brokers are making. We’d like their understanding and cooperation as a result of with out group partnership and cooperation, the warfare towards banditry won’t ever finish. I’m insisting on this as a result of with out them volunteering info on bandits, we’ll preserve entering into the identical circle. I preserve repeating this however it’s price it. Our safety problem is domestically based mostly. So, it doesn’t matter what we do or intend to do, we should have synergy with these on the native stage. They know a few of the actors, they reside collectively within the native areas. For instance, with this three-tier system, we count on them to work with us and level out these serving to the bandits.
What we’d like is group cooperation as a result of the informants are inside the communities, they’re a part of the communities and a few individuals of the communities are serving to them. After we expose the informants, we suffocate the issue and wipe it out utterly.
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