By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi, Kaduna
The residents of Katari, Rijana and Kilbu communities have debunked an allegation of conniving with the bandits in their harmful operations, especially along Kaduna-Abuja highway.
The President of the Katari Development Association who doubles as the spokesman of the three communities, Mr Makeri Danjuma Muhammad stated this during a briefing at the NUJ secretariat in Kaduna.
Mr Makeri Danjuma was reacting to the proposed plan by Governor Nasiru El-Rufai to relocate or clear the residents of the three communities on alleged connivance with bandits that carry out attacks on highway passerby’s.
Danjuma lamented that the continued report of the area in bad light is unfortunate and not a true representation of the people of the area who are themselves victims of the incessant attacks.
“Records abound to show that many of our people have been kidnapped, raped, maimed or killed by these bandits or terrorists. Many of our farmers cannot access their farms while others have to pay levies to bandits before they can access their farms.
Presently, the village Head of Rijana -Mr. Ayuba Dodo Dakolo and about 24 members of his community are in the hands of bandits. Similarly, twelve (12) members of the Katari Community including women and children are also in the hands of bandits, he said
Mr Makeri Danjuma therefore said there was no rationale whatsoever for the government to be thinking of clearing or relocating people in the communities rather than deal with any member of the communities that is found wanting according to the law of the land.
The president advised Kaduna State Government and security agencies to place the needed control on identifiable flash spots in the region where bandits normally take undue advantage to perpetrate their heinous acts based on their available security reports.
“The route that traverses the highway between Katari and K/Kare should be blocked by locating a strong military presence and the large land in the government’s forest reserve spanning between Katari, Gidan Busa, Akilbu and Rishi should also accommodate a strong security outfit,” he said.
He further added that the government can also recruit more members and youths of the communities into the security forces to reinforce the concept of community policing.
The president who was in the company of large numbers of residents of the three communities also advised for enhanced military equipment for the security personnel to address modern day security challenges.