Kaduna will Not Negotiate with Bandits, Kidnappers, El-Rufai Insists

Nasir El-Rufai

By John Shiklam

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State has reiterated his stance against negotiating with bandits, insisting that his job as governor is to enforce the law and help to prosecute people who committed offences.

A state issued yesterday by the Kaduna State Government House, said the governor restated his position during an expanded meeting of the State Security Council meeting held yesterday at the Government House, in Kaduna.

“We will not engage with bandits or kidnappers. Private citizens like clerics and clergy men can do so in their individual capacities to preach to them and ask them to repent.

“We also want them to repent but it is not our job to ask them to do so,’’ the statement quoted the governor as saying.

The governor said, the best way to solve the farmer-herder clashes, cattle rustling and banditry is for nomadic herdsmen to live more sedentary lives in order for them to be more productive and give their children education and access to better healthcare.

The governor noted that nomadic or trans-human cattle breeding has been rendered obsolete by urbanisation and population growth as most of the cattle routes have been taken over by development.

He disclosed that the state government is implementing a big ranching project in Damau Grazing Reserve, Kubau Local Government Area of the state, adding that the project will make about 1,500 herdsmen sedentary.

The governor added that the project will enable the herders to raise their cattle in a facility with pastures, a school and a primary health centre, with a commercial partner ready to buy their milk.

El-Rufai commended the security agents for their efforts to keep residents of Kaduna State safe, in spite of the challenges they faced.

The governor further restated his call for the decentralisation of the police force, maintaining that Nigeria is the only federation that operates a unitary police force.

The expanded security council meeting, according to the statement, was attended by

traditional rulers, religious leaders as we as professional associations, trade unions and civil society groups.

Meanwhile, troops have rescued four kidnapping victims in “Five-Thirty” village in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan stated this in a statement issued yesterday in Kaduna.

He also said two bandits who attempted to kidnap the four women were neutralised by troops.

Aruwan said, “Troops of Operation Thunder Strike reported that two armed bandits were neutralised at “Five-Thirty” village in Chikun Local Government Area.

“According to the report, this followed the attempted kidnap of four women from the village by the armed bandits.

“The troops responded to a distress call and mobilised swiftly to the area to engage the bandits.

“Following a gunfight, the bandits abandoned the captives who were then able to escape.

“After the skirmishes, the corpses of two bandits were recovered, with the others having escaped with possible gunshot wounds.”

He said one soldier sustained a injury from gunshots on the face during the exchange of fire and is recuperating in hospital.

The statement added that “Governor Nasir El-Rufai received the report with thanks. He commended the troops for the successful interception of the bandits and the rescue of the kidnapped women. He wished the injured soldier a quick recovery. “