Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has restated that his adminstration will not enter into peace talks with bandits in his state or grant them amnesty.
He said bandits are criminals who have challenge the sovereignty of the country for a long time and they must be wiped out without hesitation.
The governor made the remark at the presentation of the 2020 Annual Security Report in Kaduna, yesterday.
He said, “We will neither negotiate with criminals of any description nor support any grant of amnesty.
“Criminal gangs, bandits, insurgents and ethno-religious militias made a conscious choice to challenge Nigeria’s sovereignty and menace our citizens.
“These criminals must be wiped out immediately and without hesitation.
“I am assured by the recent directive given to the federal security agencies to wipe out such gun-wielding criminals by the president.”
Explaining why government at all levels must ” “immediately and without hesitation” put an end to the activities of bandits, the governor said banditry has destroyed the rural economy.
He said, “Banditry has severely impacted the rural economy and shaken the confidence of citizens.
“It has driven farmers from their land, putting food security at risk, displaced communities, stolen property and deprived people of their right to life.
“We must put a stop to these criminal acts and enable our people to live their lives in peace and safety. This is a most urgent task.”
The governor also the failure to mount a “sustained and simultaneous” operation against bandits in the north-west “has emboldened them”.
He said Kaduna and neighbouring states have been supporting the efforts of security agencies with funding and resources since 2015.
“Together with Niger state and our neighbours in the north-west, we put together resources to fund military operations against bandits in the Kamuku-Kuyambana forest range that straddles the region,” he said.
El-Rufai said it is regrettable that the collaboration “was not sustained or expanded into a campaign of continuous, simultaneous operations against the bandits across our vast region”.
“Failure to contain and defeat them in one place has emboldened them to develop a national footprint and endanger national cohesion,” he added.
The governor said the security agencies need more “numbers”, modern technology and equipment to adequately overcome the bandits.
“The security of our communities depend on the robust projection of state power, and that can only be done with sufficient security numbers to overawe and deter criminals,” he said.
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