Governor Aminu Masari, yesterday, charged vulnerable residents of Katsina State to arm themselves against banditry.
He said it was morally wrong for people to submit meekly to the hoodlums without any attempt to defend themselves, noting that security remained everybody’s business.
According to him, it is the people’s gentle submission that emboldens the bandits to continue with their heinous activities, adding that Nigerians must purge their minds of the mistaken notion that security is the government’s sole responsibility.
In a statement by his Director-General, Media, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, the governor was quoted to have made the call yesterday in Jibia Town during a condolence visit to the community for the death of 10 people crushed on Monday by operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) during reckless driving.
He assured the people that the government was taking necessary legal steps to placate the affected families.
Masari added that lawyers had already been consulted to advise on the way forward for the speedy resolution of the matter.
The governor, however, cautioned families of the victims not to succumb to any covert enticement from the NCS, stressing that doing so would compromise ongoing efforts to secure justice for the bereaved and injured.
“What Customs operatives are doing is wrong and unacceptable.
“Do not succumb to any covert enticement from the service, no matter what they offer or promise to do for you.
“Whatever they want to do for you, let it be in the open.
“If you accept any secret offer, then you will be truncating the government’s efforts to seek justice for you. But if you resist any untoward move, the organisation will then have to rethink its attitude towards its host community,” the statement added.