Radda: enabling a safer and more secure Katsina.

By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.

Being a direct victim of the scourge of banditry that had overwhelmed the North West, has emboldened Dr. Dikko Radda, the Katsina State Governor, in his resolution not to negotiate with bandits, vowing to take the war to their enclaves. Banditry feeds on the ransom it collects from victims, their families, and sometimes government, making it a lucrative industry for the daredevils. Dr. Radda has closed this tap that waters their thirst, and has dried up their purses and war chest, frustrating them into attacking soft targets few and far between. The bandits recently released a video, urging him to come to the negotiating table. He has so gotten beneath their skin, that they have resorted to issuing death threats to him directly, warning him to curtail his movement in his State. They have been miffed by his launch of the 1,500 strong Katsina Community Watch Corps, who have been equipped with the necessary training, gadgets, local weapons, vans and motorcycles for their operations. The Community Corps have been working in co-ordinated operations with other security organisations in the State, including the army, the police, the civil-defense corps, the Airforce, and customs.

On the 15th of April, 2024, Dr. Radda deployed 10 Armored Personnel Carriers to the eight frontline local governments of the State, which have been the most challenged in terms of insecurity. These include, Safana, Batsari, Danmusa, Kankara, Faskari, Sabuwa, Dandume and Jibia. The Armored Personnel Carriers have the ability to navigate the forests and enclaves of the bandits, while withstanding the threats that the firepower of the bandits’ ammunition possesses. The State owned Security outfit, had earlier been provided with no less than 65 Hilux vans and hundreds of motorcycles to facilitate their operations, alongside the police and the army. The same 15th of April, 2024, was another terrible day in the lives of the bandits, as they suffered co-ordinated attacks by security forces in the State, backed by aerial bombardments of their hideouts. NAF fighter jets, under operation Hadin Kai in the North West, conducted airstrikes targeting the camps of notorious bandits including one known as Babura. The bandit kingpin had been terrorising the Kankara, and Malumfashi areas of Katsina State. It has been reported that no less than 60 bandits were neutralised in the operation with almost 40 motorcycles recovered from the camp. An undisclosed number of sophisticated weapons were also recovered. The Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army have lauded the Katsina Community Watch Corps for their support in their operations, citing them as an indispensable arm of their fight against banditry. The Watch Corp have been quite instrumental in providing intelligence reports to the army and the police. The security forces of the Operation Hadin Kai have been marveled by the bravery and commitment of the Watch Corps in combat operations against the bandits.

In a strategic move to further cripple the activities of the bandits, a special task team, headed by The Governor’s Chief of Staff, Hon. Jabiru Abdullahi Tsauri, conducted a raid on some filling stations that were identified as suppliers of petrol to bandits in large quantities. The stations include Ajasco, Maimammada, and Mamasco. The task team worked on the intelligence gathered by the Watch Corps in the state. Katsina is becoming safer and more secure as its citizens, buoyed by the efforts of their number 1 citizen, are all invested in a hands-on approach to fighting banditry in the State. 70% of their farmlands are now active and being readied for the wet season farming. The Sallah festivities in the State, and the turn-out of traditional rulers including District heads in the State, is a testament to a better and more peaceful Katsina. The Governor hosted some members of the Diplomatic Corps including the Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Yarko Yordanov, during the festival. He also hosted some private investors in the State, who were working on breathing new life to the State’s Maryam Park in Katsina City. The State government is working on partnering with Omu Resort Limited, to develop the tourism industry of the State.

Dr. Dikko Radda has not shied away from his duties as Governor, on the excuse of fighting banditry, which he is doing absolutely well. Governance is on full throttle, as he continues to embark on developmental projects across the State. Just last month, his administration completed the 28km Road from Kafur to Mahuta, started by his predecessor. 6 billion naira was also released for the continuation and completion of other similar projects. 150 primary schools are being rebuilt or renovated across the 34 local government areas of the State. Their is also the dualisation of the Kofar Soro to Kofar Guga Road, and another Road from Galadanci to the Central Police Station. Healthcare too is not left behind. Aside the construction of several primary healthcare centres, Charanchi Primary Healthcare Centre is being rebuilt to become a full General Hospital. The State Government has also purchased 722 motorcycles which it is giving out on a loan basis to the 722 co-opted Local Government Agric Staff, who were recently trained for the State’s Agricultural Extension Services. Katsina is steadily evolving from a security challenged State, overcoming its security woes, and showing good signs of progress in terms of Agriculture, infrastructure and education. The narrative is changing fast, all thanks to a competent and dexterous Public Servant. Dr. Radda is surely beating all the odds.

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

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