Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has said that bandits and other criminals were still killing, maiming, raping and abducting residents, as well as rustling domestic animals in three of the seven frontline local councils of the state.
Masari, while speaking with newsmen in an interview, yesterday, said the affected local councils included Faskari, Sabuwa and Dandume.
He said other frontline local councils, all of which share border with the dreaded Rugu Forest and Zamfara State, had witnessed substantial reduction in cases of insecurity.
He said the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) was setting up an operational base in Funtua local council because of the activities of bandits, saying that would enable a quick air response to the areas.
Masari said the NAF base would also assist in air operations to neighbouring communities in Kaduna and Niger states where bandits also operate.
He said: “The only places that we are having problems are Faskari, Sabuwa and Dandume local councils but there is relative peace in all other local councils of the state, especially Jibia, Batsari, Safana and Danmusa.
“From the reports I receive every morning, if you find any case of rustling or kidnapping, it is mostly around Faskari, Sabuwa and Dandume. We have been complaining to the military authorities to take full control of Gurbi-Gidan Jaja-Kaura Namoda areas of Zamfara State.
“We cannot secure Katsina without security in Zamfara because 99 per cent of all the attacks and kidnappings happening in Katsina are from Zamfara.”
On the NAF operational base, Masari said the facility would be established on a World War II airstrip along plots of lands close to the airport.
He added: “The Nigeria Air Force informed me that they want to reduce their response time especially for areas of Faskari, Sabuwa, Dandume, some parts of Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states.
“If there is a distress call or sighting of bandits or their movement, before they fly helicopters from Katsina, it takes time and the bandits use that time to escape or change direction/location.
“And you know they burn a lot of fuel. But when they come around Faskari, Sabuwa and Dandume, their operation will not last as much as when they have to go back to Katsina to refuel.
“So, the idea is to have a helicopter launch pad in Funtua where they can easily respond to any distress call from the area. They intend to have launching pads, fuel and ammunition depot and also provide security to the general area.
“Luckily enough, we have an airstrip that was used during World War II. What is required is some expansion and clearance.
“The clearance where the helicopters would land has been done; it is now for the Nigeria Air Force to come and construct the helicopter landing pads.”