Bandits operating in Katsina State now make use of Radio Frequency Walkie-Talkie Transreceivers for communication among themselves.
The bandits have also killed 213 victims from July to October 2021 in 153 operations in different parts of the state within the same period.
The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Inuwa Mohammad disclosed this in Katsina on Thursday at a press briefing to give an update on the Government Security Containment Order issued by Governor Aminu Masari two months ago to tackle security challenges in the state.
Inuwa said although the Containment Order had been effective, bandits and other criminal elements operating in the state had been coming up with new methods of circumventing it.
He revealed that bandits now attack motorists and motorcyclists, who they siphon fuel from their petrol tanks, and also coerce villagers to and purchase fuel for them (the bandits). He added that informants were also not helping matters.
The SSG maintained that security operatives were however up to the task of tackling the criminals.
He said, “A recent and most worrisome move by the criminals is the observed acquisition of Radio Frequency Walkie Talkie Transreceivers by the bandits which they have started using. Security agencies are however on their trail to bringing the malpractice to an end.
Mohammed further revealed that 153 cases of bandits’ attacks were witnessed in the state from July to October 2021 which resulted in 213 deaths while 115 people were injured.
According to him, 234 kidnap cases were also witnessed in the same period during which 676 victims were kidnapped.
He also revealed that during the period, 2,023 cows, 452 sheep, 279 goats, and 13 donkeys were rustled by criminals.
The SSG also revealed that 724 suspects had been arrested from March to September 2021 adding that 75 of them were under investigation while 296 were being prosecuted.
Inuwa declared that sustained monitoring of banditry related activities in the state has revealed that September and October 2021 witnessed a decline in activities of bandits as it relates to kidnapping, cattle rustling and other forms of criminality when compared to previous months of July and August 2021.
The SSG declared ”The Containment Order is a child of necessity and has not been put in place to hurt or cause hardship to citizens of the state.”
PUNCH recalls that Governor Masari, in September, issued the containment order which contained some measures to tackle security problems in the state.
Among the measures were the closure of Kankara-Scheme as well as Jibia-Baure roads; closure of some markets where domestic animals were sold and restriction of the sale of fuel in some Local Government Areas.
Telecommunication shutdown was also effected in some Local Government Areas while there was a restriction on interstate movements of domestic animals, among others.