President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday urged those protesting against increasing bandit activities in Katsina State to be patient as their protests could distract military operations aimed at clearing out bandits in the state.
President Buhari spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, after demonstrators took to the streets in Katsina State on Tuesday, calling on the government to secure the state.
The president who has approved a joint military and police operation specifically targeted at combing Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states to rid the areas of bandits, said that security would be improved in the region, according to the statement.
He said, “President Buhari appeals to the people of Katsina State to be patient and supportive of the ongoing military operations in the state, while sympathising with those who are bereaved, injured and lost properties.
“President Buhari admonishes that taking to the streets for protest could distract the military operations, urging “Katsina indigenes not to give up on the military who over the years have a strong track record of quelling crises once given enough time.
“The major forests in North Western Nigeria have been identified as home to the bandits in the region. The operation will clear all these forests,’’ he further said.
Katsina State has recently been a hotbed of banditry in country. Last week over 50 persons were reportedly killed in different bandit attacks though the president had visited the state and warned the bandits to surrender their weapons.
Nine days ago, President Buhari visited Katsina State to commiserate with Governor Aminu Masari over the loss of lives from attacks by bandits, which include District Head of Yantumaki, Alhaji Atiku Maidabino, and APC Chairman in Batsari Local Government Council, Alhaji Abdulhamid Sani Duburawa”, the statement added.
The President said more decisive military operations against bandits in Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger, Katsina and Kaduna states would be executed.