Governor Aminu Masari says he was foolish to believe bandits had repented when he offered them amnesty years ago, as Katsina continues to face a slew of security issues.
Mr Masari remarked on Channels TV, “The only thing I can say is that with the benefit of hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it.” “Because there were leaders when we first started in 2016.” However, all of the leaders were eventually deposed. That was the first round’s failure.”
In 2016, the governor awarded bandits amnesty, and in 2019, he declared that no security agency should attack or kill bandits or cattle rustlers, urging that they be allowed to go about their daily lives.
Katsina remains one of Nigeria’s most bandit-infested states to this day. Mr Masari, who has previously stated that leading the state was a chore, asserted that he had no regrets.
He stated, “I don’t regret it.”
The governor expressed regret for the recent killings and kidnappings in the state, but stated that he would not have handed bandits amnesty.
Lamenting the recent killings and kidnapping in the state, the governor maintained that he would not have granted bandits amnesty.
“The second round after the 2019 election didn’t see the light of the day. We tried, but then we realised that, ‘who are you talking to?’” Mr Masari explained. “They are not under the same umbrella. They are not pushing for any religious belief. They are just bandits, criminals, and thieves.”
In 2020, Mr Masari vowed not to grant amnesty to bandits again, accusing the criminals of betraying him after granting them amnesty.
“We went through with the amnesty programme because we wanted peace to reign in the state, and we did all that within our limited resources to see the initiative succeed, but peace has continued to elude the state,” he had told the BBC.
The governor who confirmed claims that those involved in this banditry are Fulanis, has repeatedly challenged the state residents not to sit and watch but “buy the guns to protect themselves against bandits’ activities.
“We must all rise up to counter the insecurity challenge. We must not sit and watch some people buying guns attacking our houses. We too should buy guns and protect ourselves,” Mr Masari urged northerners.