Bello Masari, governor of Katsina State has decried that the number of policemen deployed to the state are grossly inadequate amid bandits’ attacks.
According to the governor, there are only about 30 policemen for 100 villages.
Masari said this during a luncheon organized by the NAF to celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir with frontline troops in Katsina on Saturday.
According to a statement by Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Information and Public Relations, NAF, Masari informed that the State Government has initiated action to amend extant laws with a view to enhancing the authority of village heads and local authorities to bring real governance and policing closer to the people.
He said this would compliment ongoing efforts to emplace a robust community policing structure, whilst addressing the gross deficit in the number of police personnel available at local levels.
He emphasized that if such actions were not taken, even if the bandits were wiped out by the military, another generation of criminal elements would quickly take their place in the absence of governance and adequate policing.
Masari noted that the security challenges being experienced in the State were definitely surmountable with the right kind of support from the general public.
He stressed that the people would need to provide credible information to the Armed Forces and other security agencies whilst denying same to the bandits.
According to him, “the bandits are intertwined within the communities making it difficult for the NAF or the Army to distinguish them from the locals in order to conduct offensive operations devoid of collateral damage.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, tasked NAF personnel of the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji not to relent in their efforts but to press on until acts of banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminality are brought to an end.
He charged the personnel to maintain control of the operational space and exploit every intelligence resource.
“We must continue to remain focused by maintaining the highest level of vigilance and combat readiness that the NAF is known for in order to rid our communities of criminal elements”, he added.
The CAS disclosed that the planned construction of an aircraft hangar for the NAF at the Umar Musa Yar’adua Airport Katsina, through direct labour, would soon commence.
He noted that the emplacement of the hangar would add value to efforts at enhancing aircraft serviceability by providing shelter for the aircraft and maintenance personnel from the harsh weather conditions.
The CAS equally revealed that some of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) being procured for the NAF would be stationed in Katsina and Gusau, to cover the North West, and Gombe for the North East. He stated that steps were also being taken to improve the development and employment of NAF Special Forces in order to keep them motivated to remain the excellent lethal force they had become.