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Schools, health facilities shut in Katsina

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By Mercy Kelani

This is due to operations of bandits and other criminals in the state.

About 123 schools in Katsina State have been closed down, according to reports, due to the operations of bandits and other criminals who are engaging in the terrorism of citizens in the state. Also, an estimated 58 healthcare facilities across Katsina State are not functioning, as stated by the State Government. This disclosure was made by Sa’idu Ibrahim Danja, the Special Advisor to Governor Dikko Radda on Victims of Banditry and IDPs, on November 2, 2023.

At the opening of the Project Steering Committee for the International Organization For Migration’s “Conflict Mitigation and Community Reconciliation in Northwest Nigeria”, it was stated that there is no longer access to justice, but the state has began to make use of multi-door courts in the areas. Reconciliation of the two parties in the conflict still leaves questions about their livelihoods. This is because the farmers have lost all they have, even as the pastoralists no longer have their cattle.

Antenatal and postnatal activities are non-existent in these areas.

The State has a strata in the LGAs and district heads levels, and they do have a lot of arbitration. As a result, the integration work will be easy. It was stated that with an exclusive method of uplift, the issue of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) will be addressed. Another area is the area of livelihood, and the security of women and children. The majority of women require access to healthcare, but there is none available for them anymore.

Women need access to reproductive and sexual health services, but there is an unavailability of any. Also, antenatal and postnatal activities are non-existent in these areas. This is the reason why the Ministry of Health should join the struggle. While giving a welcome address, the International Organization For Migration (IOM), Project Manager, Jeon Nahesi, discussed that the major objective of the project is to ensure reduction of community violence and promotion of locally-driven peace initiatives.

Katsina has the highest number of IDPs in Nigeria.

Another objective of the project is to ensure mitigation of conflicts over natural resources in Katsina State, North-West, Nigeria. It was also recalled that the North-West has been witnessing a lot of conflicts since the last nine years, when there was an increase in conflict. According to recent data, Katsina State accounts for the highest number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), with about 21 percent as an estimated 252,268 persons have experienced displacement in 368 locations.

Local communities in Katsina State, especially local government areas like Jibia, Danmusa, Batsari, and Kankara have struggled with the lasting and profound effects of conflicts, which include issues that has to do with banditry, communal disputes, and farmer-herder conflicts. Despite the impacts of these conflicts, the unpleasant effects of climate change on water and land resources has further increased the vulnerability of these affected communities. There is a notable complexity in the state’s situation that involves the entanglement of factors and stakeholders in the conflict.

Adoption of a comprehensive approach that recognizes roles.

IOM, in partnership with Mercy Corps, the European Union (EU), and the Centre for Democracy and Development, has ensured the adoption of a comprehensive approach that recognizes the significant roles of communities, individuals, and the government in driving peaceful coexistence. The platform, the response, and the network of the project has been formed to ensure a gateway into communities as they form a bridge between the project and the communities. The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Ahmed Bakori, added that the current administration is implementing both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches for the restoration of peace in the state.

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