Well merited: Dikko Radda as Governor of the year 2023.

By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.

Dr. Dikko Radda of Katsina State was recently awarded the Governor of the year at the Leadership Conference and Awards 2023 themed, An Economy in distress, which way forward? By pioneering community policing in Katsina, while building a robust intelligence gathering network between security agencies and the communities in his State, Dr. Dikko has been able to make a turn around of the insecurity narrative of his State. Dr. Dikko has always expressed his resolve not to negotiate with bandits, and has successfully waged a war on the terrorists, taking the war to their enclaves and hideouts in the forests. Dr. Dikko has fearlessly and personally joined Security Teams in his State, in chasing and engaging the bandits, not once, not twice.

Just recently, Katsina State Government took delivery of no less than 10 Armored Personnel Carrier Vehicles, with many more to come, in order to boost the activities of the State owned Security Corps, tagged, Community Security Watch Corps. The Security Corps boasts of about 1,500 personnel, drawing from each ward, of every local government in Katsina State. They have since received training in intelligence gathering, combat, surveillance, and use of weaponry, among a host of other military tactics. They have been equipped with 65 Hilux Vans and hundreds of motorcycles already, with many more acquisitions on the way. These watch Corps work hand in hand with the existing military architecture in the state, receiving training from them, while also co-ordinating their activities, along with ex-military officers from Katsina State.

The Community Watch Corps along with security operatives have continued to launch successful raids on bandit camps, especially around the Kankara community area, leading to the rescue of over 300 cattle that were rustled by the bandits. Many of the bandits have been annihilated by the raids, with one of such leading to the loss of the life of the Kankara Community Watch Corp Commander. The Commissioner of Police of Katsina State was full of praise and commendation for the bravery and resilience of the Community Watch Corps. Another raid by the combined security operatives has also seen to the destruction of terrorist camps in Wurma, Shaiskawa, Yauni and Dogon Marke Villages in Kurfi LGA recently. This led to the killing of the 2nd in command of the largest terrorist cell operating in Katsina, known as Maikusa. The Governor was in Kurfi Local Government himself to restore calm in the area, and restore the military camp in the Kurfi/ Safana areas.

Because the Dikko Radda war on terror is succeeding in Katsina, the terrorists have on several occasions issued death threats and warnings of attacks to the Governor, as he co-ordinates the onslaught on banditry himself, while moving confidently, through all the nooks and crannies of the State. They have tried endlessly and unsuccessfully to restrict his movement, instill fear, and cripple his efforts in making Katsina a safe haven for farming, commerce and education. Atleast 70% of farmlands that were usually cultivated by farmers, are back and fertile with farming activities, as the security situation has continued to improve in the state. Because of this development, the Governor was on an International trip recently, to procure agricultural implements including Tractors and combined harvesters, to boost the productivity and yield of small holder farmers in Katsina.

Dr. Dikko Radda has not allowed the insecurity situation to weigh his government down, as he continues to embark on projects evenly across Katsina State. The Governor is building 140 housing units for internally displaced persons in Jibia Local government area of Katsina State, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, UNDP. The Governor also recently completed a 28 km road from Kafur to Mahuta, which was initiated by his predecessor, Alh. Aminu B. Masari. He also pledged that all existing projects inherited from the previous administration will be completed. This is crucial as most governments tend to abandon projects from previous governments, leaving a litter of abandoned project sites, and a debilitating picture of public funds wastage.

Aside waging war on banditry, the Government of Dikko Radda is stepping in hugely this Ramadhan season, which has come at a time when food prices had already skyrocketed, long before the traditional costly pricing during the Ramadhan period. The State government will be providing feeding for 1000 people in each of the 361 wards of the State for the entire fasting season. It will also be subsidising the prices of millet, maize and guinea corn, at the cost of N20,000 per bag. Another 33,000 persons will be receiving a 25kg bag of rice and a token amount of money. The distribution is to be superintended by traditional rulers, civil society organisations and a select Committee of government officials to ensure transparency. Don’t forget that Katsina is one of the States battling with meagre resources, and yet, the government is able to tower above other States that have huge resources to change the lives of their people, with little security concerns. I have followed the Dikko Radda administration’s activities with keen interest and he has not veered from his campaign promises. His concentration on the security situation in the state is the key to the success of his administration. Katsina people are productive people who need just the right and peaceful environment to further their farming and their trades with border communities. So far Dr. Dikko is doing quite well and I guess that is why Baba Buhari sits with glee in far away Daura.

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

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