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How village head took N700,000 bribe from bandits, 30 villagers killed

village head takes N700k bribe from bandits, 30 killed

Katsina State Governor Dr. Umaru Dikko Radda recently sparked debate by characterizing banditry as a lucrative business for some influential individuals in Nigeria. His remarks, initially dismissed by some as exaggerations, also linked poverty and injustice as primary drivers of the country’s insecurity.

In an October interview with Saturday Vanguard, Dr. Radda highlighted his commitment to eradicating banditry through the newly established Katsina Community Watch Corps. He recounted the personal toll banditry had taken on him, including the murder of his brother, and pledged to take stern action against any state officials colluding with criminals.

Radda detailed the formation of an intelligence unit within the Community Watch Corps, designed to monitor both the Corps and gather critical information. He warned that no one would be spared, including high-ranking officials, if found complicit in criminal activities. “We are prioritizing the safety of over 10 million people over any individual’s interests,” he asserted, emphasizing the importance of robust intelligence gathering in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS).

Seven months later, the governor provided an update to Saturday Vanguard, recounting a particularly egregious case where a village head in Guga, Bakori local government, accepted N700,000 from bandits to grant them access, resulting in the massacre of approximately 30 villagers. Radda stressed that addressing poverty was critical, as financial desperation drives people to betray their communities for as little as N2,000.

Governor Radda acknowledged the various strategies employed to tackle insecurity, both kinetic and non-kinetic, which have shown tangible results. He defended his earlier statements, asserting the involvement of diverse individuals in banditry, including government and security officials. He emphasized that security agencies are highly regarded despite the risks they face daily.

Radda called for transparency and self-examination to address the root causes of insecurity, arguing that protecting wrongdoers only perpetuates the problem. He pointed out the arrests of various individuals from different sectors, underscoring the presence of “bad eggs” in every organization and the necessity of confronting these issues head-on.

Highlighting the progress made under his administration, Governor Radda reported that in the past year, the state joint security taskforce had neutralized 35 bandits, arrested 363, and rescued 565 kidnap victims. These efforts demonstrate a comprehensive approach to enhancing security and restoring peace in Katsina State.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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