…says Northern govs divided over solution
Following another deadly attack at the weekend in Kaduna by bandits, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has declared that the state is at war with the bandits. El-Rufai vowed not to negotiate with the bandits.
This is coming as El-Rufai also distanced himself and his administration from the peace efforts of Kaduna-based renowned Islamic cleric, Shiekh Ahmad Gumi, adding that anyone that believes the bandits will repent is deceiving himself.
The governor also declared that one of the challenges in tackling the issue of banditry in the North- West is the division among the governors on the manner of approach in tackling the menace. Bandits had hit two local government areas of Birnin-Gwari and Kajuru in Kaduna State at the weekend killing not less than 23 persons and injuring over 10 others.
They also burnt down houses, warehouses, shops, a church and carted away foodstuffs and other valuables. Meanwhile, in an interview with the BBC Hausa Radio Service monitored yesterday in Kaduna, El- Rufai vowed that he won’t negotiate with them. According to him, the issue of forgiveness and compensation for the bandits being negotiated by Sheikh Gumi is out of the equation, saying that any bandit arrested in the state will be killed.
El-Rufai also said he did not believe that a Fulani herdsman who ventured into banditry and collecting millions of naira as ransom will repent, insisting that it was not right to compensate people that have killed people and destroyed their means of livelihoods.
The governor also said some of the governors of the North-West see dialogue with the bandits as a solution, while others didn’t; a development that is hampering a holistic approach.
He said: “We lack unity among ourselves (North- West governors) in this region to work together to eliminate these bandits. We in Kaduna and Niger states proare still communicating on how to end this problem.
The Niger governor used to call me and we discuss. “Anybody that thinks a Fulani man that ventured into kidnapping for ransom and he is earning millions of naira would go back to his former way of life of getting N100,000 after selling a cow in a year must be deceiving himself. “Why should they (bandits) be compensated after killing people, and destroying their houses?
Who offended them? Ahmad Gumi is my friend and this is what we discussed with him. “I told him that the majority of these Fulani bandits don’t believe in religion. Therefore, I don’t believe in what he (Sheikh Gumi) is doing that they should be forgiven and compensated.”