Katsina State Governor Dikko Umaru Radda has pledged to join security operatives in the fight against bandits terrorizing the state, saying he is willing to sacrifice his life to end the menace.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, Radda said security is a top priority for his administration, and that a law has been passed to establish a volunteer force equipped with weapons.
The governor said the Community Watch Corps, which was inaugurated on Tuesday, will complement the efforts of the conventional security agencies in the fight against banditry.
“We have inaugurated, trained, and equipped the volunteers, providing them with cars, motorbikes, and even armoured cars,” he said.
Radda said the volunteers will be paid allowances in line with the minimum wage system.
“The public should be aware that these volunteers were doing this job unpaid and are motivated by a sense of duty to protect their families and communities.”
The governor dismissed claims that the patrols are worsening the security situation, saying that residents of affected areas know what is happening and that it is unacceptable to allow the bandits to continue to kidnap and kill.
“I swear, as governor, even at the cost of my life, I will not allow someone come and harm my people. The problem of banditry has reached a point where we must all unite and put an end to it,” he said.
“Those who oppose these measures are likely motivated by the fact that their loved ones are not the ones being killed. Once all necessary preparations are complete, I will also enter the forest.”
Radda’s pledge to join the fight against bandits has been praised by many Nigerians, who have commended his courage and commitment to protecting his people.