Bisi ABASS

Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina says the ban on the sale of petroleum products at filling stations around the land borders across the state had made it impossible for bandits to move freely.

The governor stated this on Tuesday in Katsina at a consultative briefing he held with the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on the security situation in the state.

The briefing was attended by Heads of security agencies in the state, traditional rulers, political and religious leaders, civil society groups and other stakeholders.

The governor had directed that only two designated filling stations be allowed to sell fuel up to N5000 to motorists in 14 Local Government Areas of the state.

Masari who had reinforced the total ban on the sale of petrol in jerry cans at filling stations said the state will also implement the ban on the sale of fairly used motorcycles in some markets.

“This is one source they use in buying motorcycles for their banditry activities,” he said.

The governor decried non-compliance with the ban on the use of ‘junction motor parks’ in the state and directed district heads to join hands with Police in enforcing the directive.

While justifying his position that bandits had many known collaborators, Masari said bakers at many adjourning local government areas to the forest were taking bread to bandits in the night.

He said some of them do production in the night and make supplies to the bandits.

Masari said the suspension of mobile telecommunication networks in 13 local government areas of the state was yielding fruits because informants of bandits and kidnappers had been cut off.

He said the demands for ransom which were being made through telephone calls had been made impossible and reiterated his position that he would not negotiate with bandits describing them as ‘criminals who are fighting no religious and ideological course’.

The governor solicited the support of the federal government, particularly in the areas of provision of humanitarian services for victims of banditry.

The minister who led a team of journalists on the trip reiterated his position that the media was under-reporting the successes recorded by the security agencies in fighting banditry and other forms of insecurity.

He said the first-hand information from the governor by the journalists he led to the state would help to change the narrative.

The minister also assured the governor of taking the requests of the state to President Muhammadu Buhari.

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