As insurgency and banditry tick up in the north of Nigeria, giving rise to kidnappings for ransom, Gov. Dikko Radda of Katsina State says his administration is not considering negotiation with bandits operating in the state but will employ both kinetic and non-kinetic means to end the menace.
Radda stated this during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, on Thursday in Abuja.
Radda said the Community Security Watch, launched by the Katsina State Government had been able to recruit locals from the communities where banditry had been taking place.
According to him, the effort of the state government is to strengthen the military and other security outfits to carry out joint operations that will help reduce the effect of the insecurity on the people.
The kinetic and non kinetic approach to insurgency in the north, referred to by Governor Radda, is the new model which the Federal Government says it is deploying.
While kinetic warfare refers to direct military engagement using the force of arms, non-kinetic warfare refers to action against an adversary without a direct conventional military action. It comprises possibilities such as information warfare, cyber warfare, psychological operations, electromagnetic offensives and cryptographic warfare.
The kinetic and non kinetic approaches can be used in combination with each other or with traditional military action to achieve specific objectives and are often used in situations where traditional military activities are either not feasible or not appropriate, Nigerian military authorities say.
Key to the strategy, is winning over the local communities under siege of the insurgents by empathising and cooperating with them and providing for their needs, including food, medication, potable water, as well as rendering training in enhanced farming methods and artisanal skills and carrying them along in the visioning for a stable society.
The essence being that poverty is one of the main drivers of insurgency and that people who are gainfully engaged and self sustaining would have less motivation to participate in antisocial conduct or cooperate with vagrants.
Radda said: “What the last administration did was that they negotiated with the bandits and the negotiation has not yielded any result.
“We feel that we have to use kinetic and non-kinetic approach to address the issue.
“For now, we cannot negotiate with the bandits at the point of disadvantage.”
The governor said he preferred to negotiate with the bandits when there is a lot of pressure on them whereby they would come out on their own and say that they want to sit down and negotiate.
“At that point, we can negotiate with them and we can resettle them back into the society,” he said.
The governor said his visit to DHQ was aimed at strengthening the collaboration that had existed between the state and the military.
Radda noted that the military had played a key role in reducing insecurity in the state and nation.
He said that collaboration with the military and other security agencies remained the only way out of the prevailing security challenges confronting the state.
“Jointly, we can do something that can reduce the effect on our people and also allow our people to go about their economic activities, as enshrined by the Constitution,” he added.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Musa, commended the efforts of the Katsina State Government in addressing the security challenges through various initiatives such as the creation of a community watch.
He urged the governor to collaborate with his colleagues in the neighbouring states towards having a unified voice against insecurity.
He pledged the willingness of the armed forces to collaborate with the state government to address the security challenges in Katsina State in order to ensure lasting peace in the state.
The CDS said the military had continued to intensify its operation in all the theatres, adding that the bandits and terrorists had been rendered handicapped in most areas.