In the just concluded week, the misfortune of armed banditry continued to engulf several North Western states of Nigeria as, on Wednesday, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State cried out for solace from the plight facing his State. In his words, “our state is currently under serious siege by armed robbers, kidnappers and armed bandits, who arrest rural people at the grassroots at will and demand ransom, which if not paid, they kill their victims. “The people of Katsina in the 34 local governments now sleep with one eye closed and the other opened. The Governor’s cries of distress, let out at an extraordinary security meeting in Katsina, was in resonance with those of his Zamfara State counterpart, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, who, on Thursday, reiterated his call for President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a State of Emergency in his State barely 24 hours after 18 persons were killed in two communities by bandits in his State, which, according to the Governor, is currently under policed. Earlier, the Northern Traditional Rulers Council Assembly (NTRCA), on New Year’s Day, warned that kidnappings, banditry, insurgency, farmer-herder clashes and other forms of crimes might hamper the conduct of the general elections. In a communiqué signed in Sokoto by the coordinating committee chairman and Emir of Gummi, Justice Lawal Hassan, they described the election year as crucial and noted that Nigeria was being watched by the international community. It is likely that the 2019 elections will be hampered by insecurity in affected Northern states even as the livelihoods of residents as well as economies of the affected States will remain after the elections – at least in the short to medium term – as National security can only be realized via a holistic strategy. In the New Year, we believe areas to be addressed for sustainable results include, but are not limited to: investments in education of citizens in order to reduce ignorance and make them less susceptible to crime; ensuring food security; creating an enabling and competitive environment for business to thrive; investments in national orientation in order to allow citizens work collaboratively with government and to facilitate intelligence gathering; committed investments in security agencies and overhaul of the current security architecture; and committed investments in the training and welfare of security personnel in order to boost their confidence and combat-readiness.