Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai says Nigeria must apply force against bandits to stop their menace in the country.
Mr El-Rufai said this while presenting his state’s annual security report for 2020 on Wednesday.
The report contains data and analyses of the main security issues in the state.
To be able to crush the bandits and other violent criminals, the governor said the police and other security agencies need to be adequately funded and equipped.
He said his administration will never negotiate with criminals or consider granting them amnesty.
According to the governor, bandits, cattle rustlers and armed militias “must be degraded and decimated to a state of unconditional submission to constituted authority.”
“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,” the governor said.
According to him, 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.”
Mr El-Rufai said the police and other security agencies should be strengthened with adequate funds, “armament technology” and the required personnel.
“This national consensus to eliminate all forms of insecurity must be operationalised immediately. Our people face deadly perils daily. Converting this national consensus into decisions and actions in support of our armed forces, police and other security agencies with human and material resources cannot wait.
“The military and police need modern technology, advanced armaments, equipment and more boots on the ground. The security of our communities depend on the robust projection of state power, and that can only done with sufficient security numbers to overawe and deter criminals.
“The prerogatives of the state need to be asserted, not merely proclaimed. The people we put in uniform must never be placed in avoidable danger, outgunned or outnumbered by non-state actors.”
The governor, whose state has suffered sporadic attacks by bandits in recent years, also expressed the need for more police officers, stating that there are not enough police officers in Nigeria.
“The idea of policing such a vast, federal republic of nearly a million square kilometers in a unitary manner is not pragmatic.
“This arrangement has already proven inadequate and we should promptly replace it with state police and other levels of policing.
Mr El-Rufai urged the National Assembly to enact bills containing adequate regulatory standards and safeguards to enable state and community policing throughout Nigeria.
“I want to commend and thank our own son of Kaduna State, Distinguished Senator Uba Sani for introducing four bills in the 9th Senate to amend the Constitution and related statutes to enable the establishment of State Police to complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police.”
He expressed confidence in the recent directive given to the security agencies to wipe out armed criminals by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I am further encouraged by the stance of Federal Government in my periodic interactions with President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria Governors Forum, that there is near unanimity and broad consensus on the part of the national and sub-national political leadership – the President and the State Governors – on this course of action.”
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