Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State and Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal have stressed the need for states to cooperate in tackling the menace of banditry and kidnapping.
The two governors took the stand in Sokoto, when El-Rufai visited to condole with Tambuwal over the death of Hajiya Aishatu, daughter of the late premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
In a statement by Tambuwal’s media aide, Malam Muhammad Bello, El-Rufa’i affirmed that governors of the seven states in the North-West have been working closely with President Buhari to end banditry and kidnapping. He said Tambuwal’s role in tackling the menace has been complete, fraternal and unbiased.
El-Rufa’i, however, expressed concern over the rising cases of kidnapping and banditry in the zone and its effect on the public.
“There is concern on the sufferings that people face, as they have been going through difficulties because of these attacks occasioned by bandits.
“From Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and parts of Kebbi and Niger states, our people have been going through trials and tribulations arising from the activities of bandits.
“As governors, we have been meeting, putting our heads together to do the best we can. The last meeting we had was last Thursday with the President. We expressed our concerns and came up with a critical road map to end this banditry in our region once and for all.”
On his part, Sokoto governor said the security challenges in the zone have become worrisome and “a great source of concern to all of us.”
He said the latest was the gruesome murder of a Divisional Police Officer and eight policemen in Kebbi on Monday and recent attack in Dange Local Government of Sokoto State where lives were lost.
“We must all put our hands on deck to ensure that we nip this thing in the bud. As you rightly said, we have been working together and collaborating. There’s no issue of party. Our security and development has nothing to do with party. It is all about the people that we represent. I have always said there should not be politics in development and dealing with security issues. We must remain one to confront the bad elements among us. They came together to fight us, so we must come together to fight them.”
Meanwhile, barely 24 hours after Niger Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, declared that Boko Haram has hoisted its flag in Kaore, Shiroro Local Government Area, no fewer than 19 persons suspected to be informants to the terrorists have been arrested.
They were picked up from two communities across two local government areas of Shiroro and Munya.
This came as the bandits appear undeterred in their territorial conquest drive as they invaded more communities in Munya Local Government Monday evening unleashing terror on the people unchallenged.
An eyewitness listed the communities the attacks took place as Sabon Kabula, Zagzaga, Lagbe, Chibani and Fuka, all in Munya LGA.
“The bandits entered from Kuchi axis around 6pm on motorcycles and moved towards Chibani, snatching motorcycles from residents from one village to village. They also stole cows at Lagbe village very close to Chinani and Fuka village. The people watched helplessly. After their operation, they still came back through the same route and went back to Kuchi where they entered without any challenges,” he said.
Daily Sun learnt that of the informants arrested, five of them (names withheld) include two brothers of the same father and three Fulani men were arrested from Chiri village in Shiroro LGA, 14 others were rounded up at Fuka in Munya LGA.
They were all arrested by the local vigilantes in the areas after monitoring their activities for a long time and handed over to the security agents.
Although there is no official statement from the either police or any of the security agencies in the state about the arrested, Daily Sun gathered that they have all been brought to Minna for interrogation and proper investigation to ascertain their level of involvement in the alleged crime.
The governor had in a recent meeting with stakeholders on the security challenges lamented that activities of informants remained one of the greatest challenges hindering the war against bandits in the state.
The governor told the people that the bandits were everywhere including government “and even in this hall (the meeting venue) and, therefore, urged the people to closely monitor the activities strangers in their various communities.”
•Yobe gov calls for quick response, reassessment
Yobe Governor, Mai Mala Buni, has said security situation in the state need quick response and reassessment.
Buni made his position known during an emergency security meeting in Damaturu.
He described the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks on Geidam in which some lives were lost with men, women, children, young and old forced out of their homes as sad.
Buni said the displacement of the victims in this holy month of Ramadan, was condemnable, crude and grossly inhumane.