Official: Katsina bandits acquire Walkie Talkies to beat telecoms shutdown

Gunmen in the early hours of Friday stormed Birshin Fulani, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis, and kidnapped a nursing mother of three children, Mrs Rukayyat Odedoyin.

Bandits operating in Katsina State are using Radio Frequency Walkie Talkie Transceivers to overcome the shutdown of telecommunications service in the state, the state government has said.

The state government had in September cut telecommunications networks in 13 local government areas it said are in the front line of banditry in the state.

But at a press conference Thursday afternoon, the Secretary to the Government of Katsina State, Mustapha Inuwa, said the bandits have been unrelenting in circumventing the security measures devised to curb their activities.

“In spite of the successes recorded, however, it is worthy to note that since the commencement of the Containment Order, the bandits’ elements across the frontline local government areas have been unrelenting in devising new strategies aimed at circumventing the impact of the Containment Order.

“The strategies range from attacking motorists/motorcyclists to siphon PMS from fuel tanks to ransacking communities and coercing villàges into sourcing PMS on their behalf. A recent and most worrisome move by the criminals is the observed acquisition of Radio Frequency Walkie Talkie Transceivers by the bandits,” he said.

Mr Inuwa, who is also the chairman of the security committee in the state, said security agents are, however, on the trail of bandits using the walkie talkie.

He said between March and September, 480 suspected bandits were arrested, 42 of whom are under investigation and 216 under prosecution.

While insisting there has been a reduction in bandits’ attacks since the Containment Order, Mr Inuwa added that from September to date 244 suspects have been arrested with 33 under investigation and 80 under prosecution.

Mr Inuwa said the security measures in the Containment Order were taken to strategically tackle insecurity, calling it a child of necessity.

“The Containment Order is a child of necessity and has not been put in place to hurt or cause hardship to the citizens of the State. The driving objective was to arrest the emerging situation that was becoming a threat to peace, order and our collective well being,” he said.

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