From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-rufai on Wednesday disclosed that his government has written to the Federal Government, requesting it to formally declare both bandits and kidnappers as terrorists to enable security agencies kill them without much consequences on international law.
Governor El-rufai stated this shortly after receiving the third quarter of the year security report from the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan.
Aruwan had earlier informed that bandits killed 343 and kidnapped 830 persons, while 210 others were injured in the last three months.
He added that 69 bandits were killed by the military troops during the period under review.
He said there was a total of 888 cases of killings, 2 553 kidnappings and 720 injured by bandits from January to September respectively.
However, in his remarks, El-Rufai said, “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.
“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”.
“I am happy to report that since I made those comments, the military and other security agencies have commenced operations against the bandits. These operations, which began in the third quarter, are degrading bandits but they are not yet simultaneous across all the affected states in the North-West region. This reflects the limitations that personnel and other resource deficits have imposed on the federal security agencies. There are simply not enough boots on the ground to have credible deployments in most places to protect communities, deter crime and enforce law and order.
“Many state governments in the North-West and the North-Central have adopted an unconventional approach to help the federal security agencies to better protect our communities. There is no alternative to launching simultaneous operations.
“I call for a consensus between the Federal Government and the the 36 states on an emergency programme of recruitment into the security agencies. Government can change the game significantly by hiring 1,000 willing youths from each of the 774 LGAs in the country into the security agencies. 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.
“I wish to appeal to all the citizens and residents of Kaduna State to remain law abiding and to uphold peace in their communities as best as they can. On behalf of the state government, I offer our sympathy for all the pains and sorrow insecurity is causing despite our sincere and consistent efforts and investments of hard-earned resources. I assure you that we are working hard to solve this problem and it is our solemn duty to do so. We offer our condolences to the security agencies and the families of the security officers that have been killed while trying to keep our people safe”.