The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has called on the federal government led by President Muhammadu Bihari to declare bandits as terrorists.
The Governor said this on Wednesday when he also noted that declaring them as terrorists would allow the military deal with the bandits accordingly without contradicting international laws guiding such operations.
El-dRufai disclosed that he has been telling the federal government since 2017 to declare the marauding bandits as terrorists, has written several letters on the same issue but his requests have not gotten any favourable response so far.
The Kaduna Governor made his mind known on the issue while receiving the State Security Incidents Report for the Third Quarter of 2021.
“We in the Kaduna State Government, have always aligned with the declaration of bandits as insurgents and terrorists. We have written letters to the Federal Government since 2017, asking for this declaration because it is the declaration that will allow the Nigerian military to attack and kill these bandits without any major consequences in international law.”
” So, we support the resolution by the National Assembly and we are going to follow up with a letter of support, for the Federal Government to declare these bandits and insurgents as terrorists, so that they will be fair game for our military. This is the view of the Kaduna State Government,” El-Rufai said.
Furthermore, the Governor urged the federal government to work with the state governments to recruit 1,000 youths from each of the 774 local government areas in the country to boost the current numbers of security agents in the fight against insecurity.
This will be a surge in numbers that is unprecedented since the civil war. An influx of 774,000 new boots on the ground will be a significant blow against criminals and an employment boost,” he said.
The official figures presented during the meeting by the State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs Samuel Aruwan revealed that no less than 343 persons lost their lives in the state in the past three months to bandits.
Apart from those killed, 830 others were kidnapped while 210 residents also suffered various forms of injury in the third quarter of 2021.
Reacting to the report, Governor El-Rufai described the figures as sobering and sympathized with the residents on their pains and losses, noting that the situation must be arrested as fast as possible.
He expressed gratitude to the security agents for their efforts in curbing the situation but urged them not to relent until peace and tranquility is restored.
The Governor said “Our Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs has just presented its report on security incidents in Kaduna State within the third quarter of 2021. It is a sobering report, reflecting the real agony of our citizens and communities, their pains and losses, and the fears and anxiety that have created considerable distress. The report puts the statistics in context, analyses the pattern of violence and outlines what the Kaduna State Government and the security agencies are doing to contain the situation and relieve the situation in our communities.”
“These figures indicate the continuing severity of the security situation. In our view, this compels an obligation to transparency on the part of the managers of security. It acknowledges the pain of our people, reflects precise figures on the nature and pattern of security incidents and provides the public factual information on this unprecedented challenge.”
“Previous annual and quarterly security reports have placed the Kaduna Central Senatorial District as the most impacted by these incidents. That was the consistent pattern in the Security Incidents Reports for 2020, the first quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2021.”
“However, the report for the third quarter of 2021 indicates that the Kaduna South Senatorial District had the highest casualties in the period. This reflects the toxic mix of banditry and the continuing violent clashes between communities in Zangon-Kataf, Kaura and Kauru LGAs. The locus of these violent incidents is Zangon-Kataf LGA where the peace process, championed so impressively since last year by His Highness the Agwatyap, is being imperilled by sundry acts of lawlessness. I call on all the communities in Zangon Kataf LGA to recommit to peace, to work together to promote harmony, uphold the rule of law and unite to against the criminals that threaten all of them.”
“While receiving the second quarter report in July 2021, I had noted that “it is a matter of profound regret for me that our considerable investments in security are yet to manifest in the defeat or at least the considerable degradation of the criminals that menace our people. We have consistently supported the federal security agencies deployed to our state with logistics and equipment. Apart from these recurrent expenses, the Kaduna State Government has undertaken capital expenditure to provide facilities that can multiply the capacity of security agencies to deter crime and conduct effective investigations of those that do occur. We created the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs to provide a specialised institution to coordinate these investments and our liaison with the federal security agencies”.
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