Gov. Radda’s bold steps in tackling insecurity and promotion of investment, by Maiwada Dammallam
- Sulaiman Umar
- 23 Oct, 2023
On October 10, 2023, the ancient city of Katsina was agog and in very high spirits as Governor Malam Dikko Umar Radda, supported by Governors Dauda Lawal of Zamfara, Abba Yusuf of Kano, Nasir Idris of Kebbi, Ahmed Aliyu of Sokoto, Mai Mala Buni of Yobe and Aminu Usman, Jigawa State Deputy Governor who stood in for his Governor.
It was the occasion of the unveiling by Governor Radda of the “Batch 1” of Katsina Community Watch Corps graduates — about 1,500 carefully handpicked and rigorously trained youths who will be posted back to their localities as vigilantes to assist security agencies in curtailing the menace of insecurity. The logic of handpicking and training youths from local communities across the state to serve as Katsina Community Watch Corps is one and the same with the timeless maxim: “You want a job done well, do it yourself.”
These youths are mostly the worse hit by menace of banditry. They are either direct or indirect victims of banditry. Like Governor Radda, many of them must have suffered the dual pain of losing a loved one to rampaging bandits or suffered the trauma of having a loved in the terrifying dungeons of the bandits. And these are able bodied and emotionally calibrated youths whose only inability to confront the menace of banditry is the absence of a well organized template to do so. This is what Governor Malam Dikko Umar Radda is providing them with to assist the government to tackle the menace. This is as unprecedented as it’s pragmatic. The idea of able bodied youths being reduced to mere sitting ducks for bandits to practice target shooting with is as repulsive as it’s unacceptable.
Recall that Governor Radda vowed to spend every kobo in the state’s coffers if that’s what it will take to have people of Katsina State go to their farms and come back home safely to sleep with two eyes closed. Undoubtedly, this is the reason for the recent unprecedented lump expenditure of over N7bn by the Dikko administration to procure security materials to enhance the functionality of security agencies in Katsina State. This includes vehicles, weaponry and innovative technological additives aimed at revolutionizing the war.
It’s quite commendable that, alongside the unveiling of the freshly trained youths of the Katsina Community Watch Corps was the simultaneous launching of 61 customized Hilux vehicles and 700 motorcycles intended to enhance the effectiveness of Katsina State security architecture. The 61 Hilux vehicles were shared in the following order:
Each of the 34 LGAs of the state received 1 Hilux for the NPF.
Eight frontline LGAs bedeviled by the menace of banditry received 2 Hilux vehicles for their chapter of the Community Watch Corps.
Eleven LGAs vulnerable and or contagious to the 8 frontline LGAs received 1 vehicle each to support the 8 frontline LGAs while preventing the escalation of the menace to their LGAs.
A total of 700 motorcycles were shared by Governor Radda in the following order:
The eight frontline LGAs received 50 motorcycles each for their Community Watch Corps (400 motorcycles).
Each of 11 vulnerable LGAs received 25 motorcycles for their Community Watch Corps (275 motorcycles).
Lastly, 25 motorcycles were received by the HQ of the Community Watch Corps for open purpose.
This is a clear confirmation of the strong resolve of Governor Radda apply conventional, pragmatic and more sustainable means to make Katsina State safe rather than give in to the rather expensive and Ponzi scheme-like idea of negotiating peace with the bandits which is nothing short of buying as much temporary peace as is convenient for the bandits to sell without jeopardizing their suffocating grip. Taking bold step to establish the Community Watch Corps while resisting the tempting and unsustainable option of negotiating largely imaginary peace with bandits by Governor Radda is quite courageous and commendable.
Interestingly, impressive as making real the Community Watch Corps is, complete with the N7bn package it came wrapped in, it’s not the biggest takeaway of the day. The biggest takeaway of the day was Governor Radda’s impressive skill to bring together all the governors of the Northwest to agree to work as one to confront the menace of banditry in the regime.
Many people, including myself, have argued in the past that the Northwest must unite as one to confront the problem of banditry in the Northwest region. It’s obvious that no single state could win the war doing it alone because of the vastness and contagiousness of forests serving the bandits as a very convenient home. Without confronting the problem as one, governors of the region will keep rotating the problem from one state to another defending on which state could afford to make the bandits more comfortable or uncomfortable as the case may be.
This is saying, bandits from Zamfara State who could strike a watery deal with Zamfara State Government for a temporary peace will easily cash their cheques and migrate to Sokoto or Katsina State to continue perpetrating evil until they feel it’s time enough to go back to Zamfara State for renewal of “peace vows.” Ditto, if Zamfara State is able to make the state uncomfortable for its bandits kingpins, they will simply migrate to Katsina or Sokoto States. Now, thanks to Governor Radda, we have a template where all states of the region will operate on the same page as one. This is even more interesting considering the enthusiasm of Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf, even without Kano State being the least affected by the problem of banditry. I have to commend Governor Yusuf for this camaraderie.
And their resolve to work together for the Northwest did not end with banditry. They have also agreed to work as one to revive the economy of the region, revive and reinvent agriculture while also resolving to thank President Tinubu for his intervention in hydropower revival in the region. In summary, it’s a beautiful and fulfilling day. I’m praying to Allah SWT to make real the ambitions of these governors as it’s most likely the key to unlock the potentials of the northwest.
It’s important at this point to advise the media community to support these developments by reducing negative reportage on matters of security or at least stop overblowing such matters with fake or unsubstantiated reportage. Doing so will help the region generate the needed confidence to attract foreign investors without whom the drive for a solid economy will remain a mirage. We have to bear in mind that our individual actions are as critical to the development of the region as the action of our leaders. No foreign investor will come to the northwest when all stories oozing out of the region are of banditry and bloodshed. As it is, if one will rely on media reports to invest in the northwest, hardly will anybody come to the region to invest for the atmosphere of criminality about the region painted by the some part of the media which is not exactly the case.
Concurred, there are areas that are unsafe even for locals just as It’s a fact that one cannot say a single incident of insecurity from Zaria to Katsina. It’s fair then, for outsiders to be accurately enlightened about the situation. As it’s now, many people watching these events from afar will assume that on stepping one foot in Katsina State, one will either be kidnapped or even killed. Meanwhile, the entire Daura Emirate axis of the state is enjoying relative peace and even the Katsina Central and South senatorial zones are not entirely engulfed by the crisis bad as it is. Normal businesses are still operating without incidents. The Kano/Katsina business relationship remain unaffected. Katsina State is not exactly the dangerous place it’s being painted as by some part of the media.
Let me also appreciate the kindness of Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni for being here to witness and bless this event. By the way, let me commend Governor Radda launching another 40 units of Toyota Hiece buses for Katsina State Transport Authority (KTSTA) intended to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal. It’s a thing of joy these commendable feats were witnessed by former President Buhari in person. I’m sure he went back to Daura happy Katsina State is in good hands and certain more is coming from where this came. May Allah SWT accept his prayers for Katsina State, the Northwest and Nigeria.
Culled from Daily Nigerian
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