Governor Dikko Radda says he is not bothered. Photo:  Dikko Radda / X

The governor of Katsina State in north-west Nigeria says he has been a target of armed gangs, locally known as bandits, who kidnap people for ransom in the region.

Governor Dikko Radda disclosed this during an emergency security stakeholders meeting held in his office over the weekend, according to local media.

Radda, who was speaking in Hausa language, said residents must regroup, organise, and defend themselves against bandit attacks.

“I am now a target of the bandits, but this has not bothered me at all, and this will not deter us from our efforts of resettling displaced people because God will protect us,’’ Governor Radda said.

''We encourage people to organise and defend themselves against the bandits,'' he added.

Kidnap for ransom

Attacks from bandits who mostly kidnap for ransom have been a major problem across Nigeria, with gangs targeting highways, apartments, and even snatching pupils from schools.

''They now come on a rampage and abduct the poor people who have no guarantee of three square mills to sabotage our efforts. We must take these problems seriously,'' he stressed.

Armed groups including kidnaping gangs and Boko Haram had in the past targeted senior government officials in Nigeria.

In November 2023, the convoy of the governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Bun, in north-east Nigeria, was ambushed by Boko Haram fighters, who were repelled by his security detail after a gun battle.

In March 2022, security personnel travelling with the deputy governor of Kebbi State, Samaila Yombe, in Nigeria's north-west also repelled an attack from armed bandits.

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TRT Afrika