Insecurity: Fears about State Police no longer justifiable –  Gov Radda

Katsina State governor Dilko Radda has again expressed support for the introduction of State Police, saying the fears being expressed by some people against the initiative are not longer justifiable.

Governor Radda said he has seenthe effort of the Katsina State Community Watch Corps which his administration put in place to combat activities of bandits and kidnappers in the State, adding that such efforts the Corps is making toward tackling the insecurity are commendable.

The Governor who marked his one year anniversary in office, explained how his administration expended about N13 billion to tackle bandits and kidnappers in the state within the last one year.

According to him, the state government expended the sum of N1.5 billion on completion of tactical combat equipment for the Katsina State Community Watch Corp.

He also explained that he sustained the payment of monthly security operations allowances to security personnel in the state to the tune of 208 million. 

This, he said is in addition to 10 units of Armoured Personnel Carriers, 65 Branded Hilux vehicles, 700 Motorcycles, surveillance drones, a communication network, trackers, and other related working materials at a total cost of approximately N11 billion Naira.

He further stated that in line with the strategy for community participation in the fight against insecurity, the State engaged 918 Local Government security committee members and 9,747 ward security committee members.

The Governor who expressed satisfaction with ongoing effort to tackle insecurity said: “We have drastically reduced the areas colonized by bandits and returned many communities to normalcy. 565 kidnapped victims have been rescued and reunited with their families. 

“35 armed bandits have been neutralized by law enforcement, over 300 assorted arms, and over 1000 ammunitions have been recovered. We have also recovered motorcycles, vehicles, and a J5 bus from bandits during operations. 

“This is in addition to many we have destroyed as we proactively dismantle this axis of evil. We have also arrested 363 bandits and subjective them to our fair judicial system.

“I want to reiterate that in our fight against insecurity we have maintained very high professionalism, abided the rule of law, respect for human rights, and complied with global best practice.

He explained that the resolve by the state government to established the Hisbah Board to teach good values and check societal vices being perpetrated across the nooks and crannies of the State was aimed at keeping the peace in the state.

He added: “We also established a committee on encroached cattle routes and grazing reserves to checkmate farmers-herders conflict. Furthermore, a joint Security Operations Communication Centre was established to improve intelligence gathering and assist security agencies in carrying out operations at all the security flashpoints in the State.”

On the need for State Police, Malam Radda told newsmen during an interactive session that “Before I became the Governor, I was one of the critics of State Police but I have seen the need for it and I have seen the effort of the Katsina State Community Watch Corps are making toward tackling the insecurity. 

“It was with outmost courage and determination and sincerity that informed my decision to call on the President to make sure that any police officers from the rank of the ASP should be posted to his state of origin. Any military officer at the junior level should be posted to their state of origin why because they should protect the lives of their people because they are either their relatives, brothers or sisters. If they like they should allow people to kill them. 

 “I keep wondering when people says that the state governor are going to manipulate state security apparatus to oppose their opponent, are we not all in Nigeria when President Jonathan has all the security agencies and lost the election? And they say that an elected governor is going to manipulate and use state apparatus against opponent, what makes Mr. President a saint not to do it when he has control of all at the federal level? 

“I think it is about leadership, responsibility, doing the right thing and at the right time. A leader should be guided by the laws and the constitution of Nigeria. No fear or favour. We are sworn by that, it means responsibility by the leader to use the apparatus appropriately or the benefit to the nation because if you are a governor today and use the state police against the opponent, you may not be the governor tomorrow and your opponent maybe the governor and use it against you. Why can’t you do the right thing. It is about responsivity and having responsible leaders.”

Earlier, the governor had distributed 722 motorcycles and knapsack sprayers to extension workers across the 361 wards in the state.

He also inaugurated the sale of 400,000 bags of fertilisers to farmers for 2024 cropping season.

Radda said the commodity would be sold to the farmers at a subsidised rate, adding that the gesture was part of activities to celebrate his one-year in office.

He said that enhanced farmer support services mark a significant milestone in his commitment to economic empowerment and agricultural development, as well as transforming the agricultural landscape of the state.

The governor said that “extension agents play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between our agricultural policies and the grassroots level.

”By equipping them with the necessary tools, we empower them to reach remote areas, provide valuable expertise, and support our farmers in adopting modern farming practices.”