From: Agaju Madugba, Katsina
As part of efforts to combat the menace of cattle rustling in Katsina State, the state government said, on Tuesday, that it would soon order the release of about 117 cattle rustlers currently in detention.
The state government recently announced an amnesty for the cattle rustlers, some of who have surrendered their weapons and pledged to abandon the criminal act.
Speaking at a programme at Danmusa Local Government Area during which some motorcycles earlier confisticated by security personnel were returned to repentant rustlers, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, explained that the impending release of the suspected rustlers was part of the dialogue programme with them and leadership of the Fulani communities in the various local governments in the state.
Hear him, “Some of the agreements reached are that they will renounce their acts completely, return arms and ammunition and rustled animals while government will release some of their members, provide clinics, schools and dams for them.
“It is difficult for residents of Jibia and Sabuwar local government bordering the forest to forget easily the scenario or hardship situation they found themselves.
“In the past we experienced when in a day, 140 people were killed, 17 were killed in our neighborhood Samia.
“But the thing was that the government of that time did not know that it was happening or did not show concern about it not to talk about how to tackle it.
“In this local government of Danmusa, we came here a night before election day, government of the day gathered the people, armed with guns and they stopped the election from taking place here. They knew that if people here came out to vote, they would vote for APC and Governor Masari,” Inuwa said.
He assured that the Masari administration is committed to keeping its side of the amnesty deal.
In his remarks, the Commissioner of Police, Usman Abdullahi, pleaded with the cattle rustlers to surrender their weapons before end of April deadline.
Cattle rustling in the state had virtually become the norm with usually bloody raids on a number of communities in Safana, Batsari, Jibia, Danmusa, Kurfi, Dutsima, Kankakara, Dandume, Faskari and Sabuwa local government areas.
At the height of the menace, a number of nomadic schools in Jibia, Sabuwa, Ginginyu and Batsari local government areas were closed down.
Inuwa had flagged-off the amnesty dialogue last October in collaboration with the leadership of the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, at Ilela, in Safana local government area where he launched the negotiation programme with a cross section of suspected cattle rustlers from that area.