The Katsina State Government on Thursday cancelled the activities lined up for the inauguration ceremony of new administration in the state.
The government cited the current security situation in the state for the cancellation. It also said that the cancellation was in honour of victims of bandits’ attacks in the state.
A statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Inuwa, said the only activity that would take place would be the mandatory swearing-in of the governor and his deputy.
The statement did not disclose when and where the swearing-in would take place.
The statement partly read, “The Katsina State Government has cancelled all activities lined up for the inauguration ceremony of the new administration in the state.
“The decision on a low-key celebration was taken following the unfortunate incessant attacks by bandits in some areas of the state which led to the death of many people and left several others injured and homeless.
“To this end, all activities that are usually organised for the event have been cancelled except the mandatory swearing-in of the governor and the deputy governor-elect which is enshrined in section 185 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The decision was to also commiserate with the families and other people who lost their loved ones or property as a result of these dastardly acts of the bandits.
“The government of the state once again appeals to all law-abiding citizens to continue to remain calm as all hands are on the deck to restore normalcy in the state and bring the culprits to justice.”
Also, some top security chiefs from the armed forces and the police arrived in the state on Thursday to assess the level of insecurity in the state following recent bandits’ attacks in some parts of the state.
The visit was said to be at the instance of the Federal Government after Governor Aminu Masari had briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the recent bandits’ killings in the state.
The security chief’s delegation was led by Maj. Gen. B. I. Ahanotu. The state Deputy Governor, Mannir Yakubu, received the delegation at the Government House, Katsina.
The deputy governor said, “Katsina is in a state of mourning, due to a series of killings by bandits.”
Yakubu added that the Masari’s administration inherited insecurity situation in 2015, adding that the government immediately took measures then to tackle the problem including an amnesty programme for repentant cattle rustlers and bandits.
He added, “The measures we took started yielding some fruits and peace was restored but it could not be sustained because we share boundaries with non-peaceful states of Zamfara and Kaduna.
“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for responding promptly to our distress call and we are also happy that the Federal Government had pledged to wade into the issue. This problem has to be tackled and solved now so that our farmers can return to the farms more so as the rainy season has already set in. If we do not solve this problem now, there may be food scarcity and the Rugu Forest housing the bandits may not be accessible during the rainy season.”
Ahanotu had earlier explained that the members of the delegation were in the state to assess the level of insecurity following the recent bandits’ killings in some parts of the state.
Meanwhile, the Police Command in Borno State said the operatives of the Operation Puff Adder had arrested five soldiers and 83 other suspects over alleged armed robbery and other offences in the state.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Mohammed Aliyu, made the disclosure in Maiduguri on Thursday, while briefing newsmen.
Aliyu said the soldiers were arrested at different times for various acts of armed robbery in Maiduguri between May 13 and Thursday.
He explained that Cpl. Hilary Oziama with Force number 09NA/63/3117, was arrested on May 13 after he allegedly conspired with L/Cpl. Kolawale Samuel, still at large to rob one Ibrahim Mohammed of his tricycle worth N.6m.
Aliyu added that two other soldiers, Mohammed Abubakar with force number 17NA/76/15521 and Ibrahim Musa, 17NA/76/4381, conspired with Mohammed Mustapha and Sani Abdullahi to rob one Sani Musa of his cell phone worth N5,000.
He said the soldiers and their accomplices were arrested by personnel of Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Maiduguri.