We’re getting overwhelmed by armed bandits – Governor cries out to Federal Govt
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has decried the activities of bandits in the state saying that they are beginning to be overwhelming.
According to The PUNCH, the governor said this in his speech when he received the Bauchi State Council of Emirs who paid him a courtesy visit at the Exco Chamber of the Government House on Wednesday.
He said that because of the Federal Government’s sustained war against bandits and terrorism in other zones of the country, the state is becoming a hiding place for the unscrupulous elements who are beginning to disturb the peace of the state.
He however said that his administration was not resting on its oars but is working hard to ensure that there is peace of lives and properties of the citizens of the state.
“With regards to internal security, I am glad to inform you that we have established a Ministry of Internal Security that will partner with the Federal Government just to drive the issue of providing internal security. We have our own vigilante that is working with the established security.
“Other states are moving ahead, we have one of the largest populations in the region and so with the activities of the Federal Government in other parts of the geopolitical zones, the bandits are coming to Bauchi.
“We will have to go the extra mile to make sure we checkmate them. We are doing that but certainly, we’re getting overwhelmed and that is why we call on the Federal Government to help us and to come to our aid, to do that thing that they are doing in the north-west so that as we have always been a sanctuary of peace, we’ll maintain that status.
“The Emir of Katagum is one Emir that is known to always go out at night patrolling. I want the other emirs to emulate him and do what he is doing, not that they are not doing, but you are uncommon in terms of your own forthrightness.
“We will try to exercise restraint and patience with your district heads and with the emirs. Even if we remove or punish any member of the traditional institution, we are doing it with a lot of pain. I don’t like it but we have to do it when there is apparent disobedience to the rules of engagement of emirs, traditional rulers, and so on and so forth.
“We are just taking a minimal number to make an example out of them. We cannot afford to punish all the people who are transgressing, we’re just making sure that we are trying to bring remorse to put people on course but we are doing this with a lot of apology and regret. We don’t like touching the institution because that institution is the symbol of our togetherness,” he said.
He called President Bola Tinubu, not to ignore Bauchi State because it is a State governed by the opposition People’s Democratic Party just as he lamented that he said that the first railway route in the country had been abandoned by the Federal Government.
He said: “Some of the infrastructures that will help us have been left out, I want you the emirs to talk to the new President that we need the railways to be revived from Enugu to Maiduguri, This is the first railway route but it has been abandoned. Even our road from Akwanga to Jos to Bauchi to Gombe is bad.
“But we want to express our gratitude to His Excellency, the Vice President on behalf of His Excellency, the President, Bola Tinubu who pledged to build the road between Bauchi and Gombe because the road is totally bad. We will make time with you to go and thank Mr. President for that and to ask for other things.
“We cannot be left out because we are in the opposition, we have to be in the mainstream. Nothing works in Nigeria without Bauchi. We are controlling the balance of power, the balance of tradition and knowledge, and with people like you, I am calling on the Federal Government not to ignore us because we are in PDP. We are a state and we are ready to work with the Federal Government.”
Speaking earlier, the Deputy Chairman of the Council of Emirs in the State, Umar Faruk II who represented the Chairman, the Emir of Bauchi, Suleiman Adamu, said they were at the Government House to thank the Governor for his respect for the traditional institution in the state.
“Our purpose of coming here is to pay a courtesy visit to our brother the governor and to thank him for what he has been doing to us, the emirs, and the district heads.
“He is the first Governor who provided very good vehicles to our district heads purposely to help them in their work. Before now, you would not be surprised to see a district head asking for a lift because he doesn’t have a car. In the process of trying to get a car, they may end up compromising their own positions.
“In addition to that, he’s in the process of renovating or building new houses for them. This is the first time that this is happening. And we the Emirs, we have never had it this good. We thank him for looking at our remuneration by correcting what was being given to us in the past,” he said.