Governor Dikko Umaru Radda of Katsina has pledged to sacrifice his life to end banditry in the state.
In a BBC Hausa interview, the governor said security is a top priority, saying that was why a law was passed to establish a volunteer force equipped with weapons.
The governor had, on Tuesday, inaugurated the Community Watch Corps to complement efforts of the conventional security agencies.
“We have inaugurated, trained, and equipped the volunteers, providing them with cars, motorbikes, and even armoured cars,” the governor said.
Regarding allowances, the governor said the government had adopted the minimum wage system, and the volunteers would be paid accordingly.
He said, “The public should be aware that these volunteers were doing this job unpaid and are motivated by a sense of duty to protect their families and communities.
“Some critics claim that the patrols are worsening the security situation, but this assertion is unfounded. Residents of affected areas know what is happening, and it is unacceptable to allow these people (bandits) to continue to kidnap and kill.
“I swear, as governor, even at the cost of my life, I will not allow someone come and harm my people. The problem of banditry has reached a point where we must all unite and put an end to it.
“Those who oppose these measures are likely motivated by the fact that their loved ones are not the ones being killed. Once all necessary preparations are complete, I will also enter the forest.”