The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has said that over 150 groups of bandits are operating in the North West region of the country.
Masari stated that the groups of bandits have sworn allegiance to different leaders, which has made the fight against banditry difficult in the region.
He made the revelation on Tuesday when he played host to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed at the government house in Katsina.
Masari said that his colleagues in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, and Nasarawa states have taken security measures to combat banditry in the region.
He said seven states in the region and North Central have agreed to recruit 3,000 special vigilantes to assist in combating banditry and kidnapping.
The governor said the Nigeria Police Force will train the vigilantes, who will assist security agencies in tackling the security challenges in the region.
He, however, stated that the fight against insecurity should be a collective effort while asking Nigerians to always provide support for the security agencies.
Masari said: “I am not speaking for myself but on behalf of the governors of the above-mentioned states.
“In fact, they are supposed to be at this consultative meeting we are holding here in Katsina, but I am speaking on their behalf.
“The issue of banditry in the North West and parts of North Central has transformed to insurgency, therefore, we developed different mechanisms to fight the menace.
“There are over 150 groups of bandits in the forests that owed allegiance to their different leaders.
“These people don’t have ideology, religion or sense of direction, they are just like wild animals.”