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How village head collected N700,000 bribe from bandits, allowed invasion, killing of 30 villagers

When the Katsina State Governor, Dr Umaru Dikko Radda recently described banditry as a business venture for some highly placed individuals in the country, some felt the governor of the Northwestern State was merely exaggerating issues out of context.

But he didn’t stop there as he also said poverty and injustice are major factors fuelling insecurity in the country.

At an interface with Saturday Vanguard sometime in October last year, Dr Radda had said with his newly launched Katsina Community Watch Corps, he was determined to rid the state of banditry.

Recalling how bandits had killed his biological brother, the governor said he wouldn’t spare anyone, including state appointees who connive with Fifth Columnists to destabilize the state.

He said: “In our efforts, we have come up with the intelligence unit within the Katsina Community Watch Corps. This intelligence unit, even the Corps members don’t know them. The reason for setting it up is to check the excesses of the Corps and also to gather information.

“There are some traditional rulers who are identified and those ones are already under scrutiny. So, we are not sparing anybody even commissioners in my regime, we are not going to spare anybody found to be involved in one criminal activity or the other. We are talking about the lives of over 10 million people not one single individual. No single individual is more important than 10 million people or the lives of an innocent person in the village. We are trying as much as possible to gather a lot of information together with the intelligence we are getting from the DSS so that we can build a network that we can arrest and prosecute any person found wanting”.

Seven months later when Saturday Vanguard took him up on the issue, the governor who gave an account of his stewardship in the last year, explained how a village head was paid N700,000 by bandits, to allow free access to his village, and the consequent killing of about 30 of his subjects.

He said his administration was fiercely addressing poverty having discovered how it fuels insecurity. According to him, it was disheartening that for as little as N2,000, some persons would volunteer information to bandits about their neighbours or relatives.

On the village head, the governor said; “I will say yes, that we have arrested a village head in Guga village in Bakori local government of the state because of his involvement with the bandits.

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