Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai yesterday stuck to his rigid position on bandits. He said they should be killed without mercy.
To this end, el-Rufai, whose state is constantly being hit by bandits, reiterated that the only way to deal with bandits and make schools safe is to eliminate all the bandits.
The occasion was at the ‘Financing safe schools in Nigeria’ organised by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning which was held in Abuja.
Featuring at a panel of discussion moderated by Mrs. Maryam Uwaise , the forum had in attendance the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr. Gordon Brown, amongst other dignitaries. Commenting on security challenges – banditry, napping and insurgency which have made learning at school risky – he said any individual who chose a forest as a hideout location to torment innocent citizens deserves to be wiped out.
“The Air Force should just shell the forests where bandits are hiding. Nobody living in the forest is innocent and we must kill them all.
The Chief of Air Staff has been doing well and this has led to a reduction in the activities of bandits in recent times”, he declared. He advocated the purchase of drones in addition to aircraft in the fight against insecurity, adding that drones remain the best elimination technology to wipe them out of the forest.
He vowed not to negotiate with bandits, a view he said was personal to him as some of his colleagues had contrary positions.
The Governor explained that another way to discourage banditry is to stop negotiating with them and paying ransom. “People ask if I won’t pay ransom if my child was kidnapped and I said that I won’t pay. But that is a personal decision, which we do not all support. So the only way to stop banditry is to kill them all!” He said bandits made four kidnap attempts at various Kaduna schools, saying they succeeded on one while security agents foiled three. “Most schools are vulnerable because they are not fenced, there is minimal presence of security at schools, and we need to invest in security agencies because they are overstretched. We need to domesticate policing. We must have some level of control over policing. The police is overstretched. We need an element of technology in security, deployment of more drones”, he said. In his contribution, Ekiti State governor and Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said governors, as chief security officers of sub national government, were at the receiving end of the current security challenge.
“The core responsibility of government is to ensure safety of lives and property of citizens. These are the issues we are grappling with daily.
At Nigeria Governors’ Forum, we are committed to working with you – security agencies – to keep our environment safe and secure”, he said. NESG Chairman, Asue Ighodalo, harped on safety and creation of an enabling environment as a panacea to attracting investors. “We need a lot more to create an enabling environment.
If businesses are not supported, they go elsewhere. The private sector will want to support the government, but the environment has to be friendly”, he said. In his contribution, Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, encouraged locals to share intelligence with security agents