The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), according to Katsina Governor Aminu Bello, is attempting to build strongholds in Nigeria’s north-west.
He also discussed how livestock rustling turned into banditry and kidnapping in the North West.
Masari spoke during a forum hosted by the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Katsina.
He attributed the region’s security problems to a lack of education and an influx of criminals from North African countries.
According to Masari, infiltration, particularly from Niger, Mali, and Libya, has elevated the threat level in the afflicted countries.
He lamented how the crisis in Libya caused proliferation of arms and ammunition in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We have to accept that within these areas, Nigeria is the richest and an attraction for all forms of criminality and kidnapping,” Masari said.
“Even ISWAP will want to at least stay in the North-West to institute a family here, but we are fighting day and night to ensure that it doesn’t happen.”
Drug usage, according to Masari, has exacerbated the situation in the north, as young men used by bandits are often given with intoxicants.
According to the governor, abduction has progressed to the point where criminals kidnap members of their own family for ransom.
Insecurity was harming farmers, traders, and the agriculture sector in general, according to Masari.
“What we initially encountered as cattle rustling has evolved into banditry and insurgency, denying people access to their farms,” he continued.
Masari claimed that governors in the North-West were training vigilance members to safeguard communities, with 500 being trained now and another 3,000 being trained later.