Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Governor Nasir El-Rufai has explained that insecurity in Kaduna State is being perpetrated by criminal elements who have been killing, kidnapping people and rustling cattle in the entire North West.
The governor explained that the criminality of the bandits is coated with ethnic and religious hues when it affects communities in the southern part of the state, where it tends to exacerbate communal tensions and pitch people who have lived peacefully together against each other. El-Rufai stated that his government has taken major steps to secure the area, including ensuring that a military base was opened in southern Kaduna along with two mobile police squadrons, as response to a decade-long demand for enhanced security presence in the area.
He further said that in addition to security presence, peace requires that everyone should obey the rule of law and avoid self-help, because ultimately peace depends on the willingness of people to live in harmony and to settle their differences peacefully.
The governor who made this known in a media chat on Thursday night, said that attacks by bandits are not localised to a single part of the state, noting that “these criminals attack people irrespective of their religion or ethnicity and they have been perpetrating their reign of terror in Giwa, Birnin Gwari and parts of Igabi local government.’’
According to him, the bandits operate mostly in Katsina, Zamfara and Niger states and their attacks in those states are seen and reported as criminal activity, but same attacks are perceived differently when they occur in southern Kaduna and are invested with ethno-religious colorations.
The governor further explained that when bandits attack in southern Kaduna, security reports show that youths from the affected communities have often responded by mobilising to attack Fulani communities in their area whose members share the same ethnicity with the presumed bandits, even though many Fulani communities are also themselves victims of the bandits, in Kaduna State and elsewhere.