The Governor of Katsina State, Dikko Radda, says the state has recruited 1,500 personnel into the Community Watch Corps to fight criminals in the state, especially terrorists who are locally called bandits.
Mr Radda stated this during an interaction with journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that the police, military and the NDLEA were involved in the recruitment of the corps.
He stated that over 2,500 persons indicated interest in joining the corps, and after the screening and vetting, 1,500 were selected. He said many of the people recruited have been victims of bandits attacks and are motivated to fight the terrorists.
He said most of the recruits have gone through drug screening by NDLEA, and the state also got the help of the police and SSS in the recruitment.
Mr Radda said community watch corps had the legislative framework because the Katsina State House of Assembly passed the bill and he gave his assent to the bill.
“Before my inauguration as governor, I had deployed the services of experts to come up with a bill to establish the Community Watch in the state assembly. Immediately we were sworn in, we took the bill to the state assembly and within two to three weeks the State Assembly passed it and I have assented to it.
“We were guided by the rules and regulations guiding the operations of the military police and the DSS. We developed our form which was fully endorsed by the security outfits in the state. Then we implored the military and police to provide us with some of their personnel to help with the recruitment and screening exercise of this corps.
“We went back to the affected communities especially the eight frontline communities because we believe if we are able to block the eight frontline communities, we will make it uneasy for these criminals to be moving about within the state,” he said.
Speaking on the criteria for recruitment into the corps, Mr Radda said education qualification was not the main criterion, but the determination to fight the terrorists.
While responding to questions on arming of the corps, Mr Radda said its personnel are to support the police to fight the bandits, he noted that they deposit their arms with the police in the state.
“The aim is to support the conventional security agencies to address the issue. All their authorized arms were deposited with the DPOs in their various Local Governments. The essence is to have more numbers to confront these evil monsters,” he said.
Katsina State, the home of former President Muhammadu Buhari, has been a safe haven for bandits and other criminal elements engaging in killing and kidnapping for ransom.
While police and firearms are under the exclusive legislative list in the constitution, the growing insecurity across the country has made many governors float state security outfits.
In the South-west, there is Amotekun, while the South-east has Ebube Agu.
Culled from Premium Times