Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, says most bandits are of the Fulani ethnic stock as himself, adding that they speak Fulfulde and profess the same religious beliefs as himself.
He said many northerners might not like his revelation but maintained that his disclosure remains the truth.
The governor spoke on Monday as a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme.
When asked about the identities of bandits terrorising the entire North-West and other parts of the country, Masari said, “They are the same people like me, who speak the same language like me, who profess the same religious beliefs like me.
“So, what we have here on ground are bandits; they are not aliens, they are people we know, they are people that have been living with us for 100 of years.
“The infiltration we have from some West African countries and North African countries are also people of the Fulani extraction.
“Majority of those involved in this banditry are Fulanis whether it is palatable or it is not palatable but that is the truth. I am not saying 100% of them are Fulani but majority of them are, and these are people who live in the forest and their main occupation is rearing of cattle.”
The Governor had effective August 31, 2021, closed the Jibia-Gurbin-Baure Road and the Kankara-Sheme Road to all motorists, advising them to use Funtua Road as an alternative route.
The governor also suspended sales of cows, and other animals at markets in 14 local government areas of the state in a move to curb the worsening security situations in the North-West state.
Commenting on Monday, Masari said the measures are “painful” but “necessary”, adding that the efforts are working but it has not recorded the level of results he wanted.
He noted that over 100 groups are in the forest “all made up of bandits, kidnappers, rapists and armed robbers”, adding that all measures would be employed to curtail the situation before the end of the year.
Furthermore, the governor said the restrictions in the last few days have drastically reduced the movement of bandits in large groups.
He said some filling stations in isolated locations service the bandits who mostly move on motorcycles.
“We are not totally shutting all the filling stations. In local governments, we said two filling stations will operate and in those filling stations, nobody will sell fuel in jerrycans and gallons.
“There may be some hardship but it is better now to take the hardship now in order to restore normalcy. We have a list of some of these filling stations that are dispensing fuel in jerrycans,” Masari said.
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