On Friday, Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State called for an expanded emergency meeting of the State Security Council, disclosing that he is one of the individuals singled out for potential attacks by bandits.
The governor made this disclosure in his comments right before the meeting entered a closed-door session.
The governor and several members of the State Executive Council, including the state Commissioner for Justice, Farida Dikko, were in attendance at the meeting.
The Emirs of Katsina, Dr. Abdulmumin Usman, and Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruq, were among those in attendance, alongside heads of various security agencies in the state.
The governor underscored that the meeting was convened to address the current hardships experienced by Nigerians, linked to the escalating prices of food commodities and the actions of certain traders exporting Nigerian foodstuffs to other parts of Africa, including Niger, Chad, and Libya, owing to the devaluation of the Naira.
The meeting, which began at 10:45 am, was ongoing at the time this report was filed.
The governor said, “This emergency meeting is called to, among others, discuss the current situation of food prices, which is threatening the existence of the country.
“It’s necessary for us to get all the stakeholders involved so that we can share our options. We can’t take action as a government without consulting stakeholders.
“The prices of foodstuff are on the increase, which makes it difficult for the poor to purchase, and if care is not taken, hunger will enter into people, which will in effect bring about crisis and insecurity in the country.
“We can see that protests occurred in Niger and Kano states foodstuff, and we must take measures to avoid it here in Katsina.
“I was briefed on factors responsible for the problem. Traders are exporting the food commodity to neighbouring Niger, Mali and some parts of Libya because their currency is more valuable than ours. They use small amounts and buy heavy foodstuff for their country.
“We have a report that trailers are being loaded every day with foodstuffs by traders and leave it until it goes high before they start to sell. We are still in harvesting season, but a bag of maize is being sold at about N60,000 with minimum wage standing at N30,000.
“Imagine how many measures of maize a family man with 10 children can buy in a day not to mention other expenses. If no action is taken, the poor will have no option but to start seizing foodstuffs from anyone found with it. We have to think twice.
“Besides this, bandits have come up with a new strategy because most of their informants supplying them with intelligence are nowhere to be found. Instead, they come on rampage and abduct the poor people, who have no guarantee of three-square meals, to sabotage our efforts. They mobilise their colleagues from other states.
He also stated that, based on security reports, they were part of the target. However, they emphasized that it didn’t bother them and wouldn’t deter their efforts to restore people, expressing confidence that God would protect them. They highlighted the seriousness of the problems and encouraged people to organize and defend themselves against bandits.