Katsina State Government has reiterated its stand not to negotiate with any bandit declared wanted by the state and in the North-West.

Governor Aminu Bello Masari made this assertion yesterday when he received 26 young women rescued by the state government through the Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran, at the Government House, Katsina.

Masari, who noted that the bandits were criminals of the highest order, said the state government had a bitter experience with them from 2016 till date.

“The worst one was the peace and understanding we had with them in 2019 and by 2020, they had reneged.

“So we urge you, those of them that have been declared wanted in Katsina, please we want you to apprehend them and hand them over to us to enable them to face the wrath of the law.

“We cannot allow a situation where somebody masterminds the killing of over 68 people and that person would go free under whatever guise; we will not accept it,” the governor maintained.

According to him, we must draw a line, bandits, and banditry, we are not against peace, but our condition is that they should first negotiate with their neighbors.

“The people they are harassing, killing, kidnapping, maiming and stealing their property, followed by security agencies that are executing the fight against banditry, then, if there is anything that the local, state and federal governments will do, we shall do them,” he noted.

The governor assured that government at all levels is ready to do whatever it takes to make sure that peace is restored within the localities and communities and where the federal government has to come in, they would also be urged to do what is required.

“To secure our communities is a task that we must do,” he asserted, adding that to ensure this task, the government had decided to amend the Local Government Act to provide for village and district security councils in addition to the local government security council.

He, however, appreciated his Zamfara State counterpart for the safe return of the rescued young women.