From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi have charged the people of Kebbi State especially local hunters and vigilantes, to be ready to defend the country against frequent attacks by bandits.
They stated this on Saturday in Birnin Kebbi while addressing hundreds of local hunters, vigilantes groups from different parts of the state who stormed Kebbi State Government House to declare their readiness to wage war against the bandits.
Bagudu, in an emotion-laden voice, told the hunters that he and other governors were ready to go to the battle fields to defend the people, their property and the nation.
According to him, “we are not military yet; we are not police. We commend and respect what the security agencies are doing, and they are doing a great job. But the security personnel are human beings. They also want the community support. They want the support from the vigilantes. So, if we can go to campaign rally and gathered 100,000 people. What has taken place in Birnin Yauri, should be the last strike.
“We should follow these bandits wherever they are and kill them all. And I call on all my colleagues in other states too. How many are they? How many of us can they kill? So, we would discuss with the security agencies so that we don’t interfere into the commendable jobs they are doing.
“It is not the weapons that win a war; it is the will of the people. Bad people cannot tramp upon the will of good people. We would show them that we have the will power.
«President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies have been doing their best with limited resources. But we need to mobilise ourselves and take on these bandits.”
Dr. Fayemi, who is also chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), charged the hunters and people of the state to use all power within their possession to end bandits’ attack on the state.
He said: “Our governor (Bagudu) has put on good fight. That is the demonstration of his commitment to the welfare of his people. We know we would overcome these challenges. There are lessons from it for our own states too, where we have Federal Government Colleges and we have ordinary schools belonging to the state.
“And we must protect our children; we must protect our people. Our first job as governors is the security and welfare of our people. And God Almighty will be with us to realise the objective of protecting our people in sha Allahu”.
Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru who also accompanied Fayemi, charged the local hunters to use all power within their possession to rescue and defeat bandits terrorising the state.
All the leaders of the hunters from various local government areas of the state, who spoke, declared their readiness to mobile thousands of their people to defend the lives and territories of the state and Nigeria if they were given opportunity.
Meanwhile, Kebbi State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teacher (NUT), Comrade Isah Arzika, has disclosed that seven schools close to Federal Government College (FGC),Birnin Yauri, in Ngaski Local Government area attacked by bandits attacked had been closed indefinitely.
Arzika, while speaking with newsmen on Saturday, noted that security agencies had not made fresh contact with the parents and relatives of students and teachers in captivity.
He disclosed that when they made their first contact last Thursday, they did not demand any ransom. Instead, they told their parents and relatives that they only wanted to establish contact with them to inform them that their children were with them.
He said: “As I am talking to you, two of our teachers have regained their freedom. Already, seven schools within the area have been closed and more will be closed if we realise the situation is not safe for the teachers and students.”
Responding to questions on how the bandits made their contact with the parents, Arzika explained that when they abducted the students and teachers; they collected their parents and relatives’ contacts and thereafter made calls to them that their children and people were with them.
Also Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, representing Kebbi South, called on the military to sustain its onslaught on the bandits terrorising villages of Yauri and Zuru Emirates in southern part of Kebbi State.