By Laleye Dipo
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has expressed strong optimism that the newly appointed service chiefs will succeed in the fight against insurgency and other crimes in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently replaced the former service chiefs to give more bite to the fight against insecurity in the country following increased tension across the land.
However, the Kaduna State governor believes that the new chiefs with their track records will perform and bring insecurity to a halt in the land.
Exchanging views with newsmen after a visit to his Niger State counterpart, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, in Minna on Tuesday evening, El-Rufai said the new service chiefs “are coming in with new vigour so I expect them to succeed”.
“Whenever you have new people, they come with renewed vigour and the focus to make a difference. So, we hope that things will be even better,” he said.
The governor was of the opinion that banditry, kidnapping and other crimes in the northern part and across the country will soon come to an end with the appointment of the new service chiefs, but asked them to build on the foundation already laid by their predecessors.
He advised them to study a report he and his Niger State counterpart submitted to the previous service chiefs in which recommendations were made on how to check the insecurity menace in the country but did not give details of the suggestions.
“The problem of banditry and insurgency has been around for a while. The governor of Niger State and I have more than two and a half years ago presented what we felt were the solutions to banditry activities in our states.
“My advice to the new service chiefs is to look at what has been recommended and what has been done by their predecessors. So what the new service chiefs need to do is to build on the foundation built by their predecessors. There is great expectations from them by Nigerians,” El-Rufai stated.
He said though many Nigerians criticised the former service chiefs, but “those of us that worked closely with them know that they have performed very well”.
The governor expressed surprise at the attitude of some locals who act as informants to bandits, saying such people should be treated as criminals when caught.
“Informants have played a major role in the unsuccessful attempt to completely eliminate the bandits,” he observed, and enjoined religious, traditional and community leaders to preach against their activities as well as the need for people to share intelligence discreetly with government about these informants so that the security agents can deal with them.
Earlier, Governor Bello had assured Nigerians that government will not rest on its oars to ensure the fight against banditry is brought to an end in every part of the country.
Governor El-Rufai, who was on a private visit to Niger State, had paid condolence visit to the family of late Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, in Minna, the state capital.