From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-rufai on Thursday expressed deep worry as he gathered that terrorists hiding in Kaduna forests have compared them to Sambisa forest in Borno State and concluded that Kaduna forests are far more conducive for their ‘business’.
This was even as El-rufai formally confirmed emergence of Boko Haram terrorists enclave as well as activities of Ansaru in two local government areas of Birnin-Gwari and Chikun Local Government areas of the State.
The governor spoke shortly after he received the first quarterly security report from the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan.
“Among those kidnapped from the train, was a former roommate and classmate of mine who was released upon payment of a ransom and throughout the period that he was in captivity, it was very clear that the terrorists were making comments like the forests in Kaduna are even better than Sambisa, so, they should all relocate here. I think this is an area we should all be concerned about.
“It is unfortunate that in-spite of our investment in human, material and other resources to stem the tide of criminality in the state, the levels are still a source of concern.
“This presentation has brought out new emerging concerns that I will want the security council to take note of and discuss and maybe to proffer some suggestions.
“The first great concern is the emergence of Boko Haram terrorists enclave as well as activities of Ansaru particularly in Birnin-Gwari and Chikun Local Government.
“And that is why we have been making the point that, the problem of insecurity now has moved from the North-East to the North-West. What is happening in North-West is far more serious and potentially more dangerous than we have ever had in the North-East and we will like the military and other security agencies to take notice of this before it gets out of control.
“The second which is related to the first is the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (EIDs) and mines in the state. We have been lucky thanks to the Police we have been able to defuse most of them without causing major loss of lives. This is still a major concern. Because this shows very clearly the movement from banditry to terrorism with expertise in making explosive devices. Again this is because Boko Haram and Ansaru elements have moved into the state.
“The third is the very high rate of drug abuse in the state. I think we should KASUPDA a clear directive that, any building house it any patent medicine selling these drugs should be acquired by the government and demolished. This will be a deterrent to those that give these people the wherewithal to poison out young people. We have to take this action because related to banditry and all forms of criminalities drugs play a major role. We must cut the supply chain of drugs to the bandits.
“The fourth concern I noticed in the report is continuous mention of Rijana, Katari and Akilibu axis in all these crimes, particularly as regards the safety or lack of it of Kaduna-Abuja road. We have been exploring what to do about these three communities, whether to relocate them to bear Kagarko, whether to clear the three communities, I will like the security council to deliberate on it and look at the options, because it is very clear that, there are higher levels of informants and criminals in these locations, because why is it that, anytime there attack or any form of kidnapping in the road, it happens around this three axis and nothing ever happens on the Kagarko axis. There is something wrong with the Rijana, Katari axis and government should not refuse to do anything. We have to look at the options including the clearance of the settlements completely and relocation of the people to where other more honest people can watch them.
“From what we have seen, the security agencies are overstretched, we really need to ramp up our recruitment of our vigilance service volunteers, I think the 1,000 we trained have been very useful in assisting the Army, the Police and other security agencies and perhaps this is the time to get another 1,000 ad send them to Police College for training.
“We have already bought weapons that are with the Commissioner of Police but we need more men and women
“I will like to see resumption of flights at the Kaduna International Airport. We are grateful to the Defence Headquarters for enabling the establishment of the NDA Demonstration Battalion. I will like to appeal to the Air Force whose Area of Responsibility includes the Kaduna Airport to also have some kind of permanent deployment at the Airport to secure it so that flight can resume”. El-rufai stated.