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Declare bandits as terrorists to enable military tackle them fully, Governor El-Rufai urges FG

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has asked the Federal Government to declare bandits in the North-West geo-political zone of the country as “insurgents” or “terrorists”.

The declaration, the governor said, would able the Nigerian military to attack and kill “these bandits without any major consequences in the international law.”

The governor who spoke shortly after receiving the third quarter security report from the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna on Wednesday, also said the recruitment of 1,000 youths each across the 774 local government areas of the country would deal a deadly blow to bandits and other criminal elements in the land.

Backing the National Assembly’s resolution to declare bandits as terrorists, the governor said the state government had since 2017 written to the federal government on that, pointing out that “bandits don’t deserve mercy and they should not be allowed to live.”

“We in the Kaduna State government had always urged for the declaration of bandits as insurgents and terrorists. We have written letters to the federal government since 2017 asking for this declaration because it is this declaration that will allow the Nigerian military to attack and kill these bandits without any major consequences in the international law.

“So, we support the resolution by the National Assembly and we are going to follow up with a letter of support for the federal government to declare these bandits and insurgents as terrorists, so that, there will be fair game for our military,” the governor added.

The Commissioner had earlier in his report, said bandits killed no fewer than 343 and abducted 830 persons as well as ‎injured 210 persons among them women and minors within the third quarter of the year in the state.

He said, “the operations against the bandits that began in this last quarter are degrading bandits, but are not yet simultaneous across all the affected states in the North-West region. That explains the limitations that our personnel and other resource deficits have imposed on federal security agencies.

“There are simply no enough boots on the ground to have credible deployment to most places, deter crime, and restore order. That is the reality that we face.

“Many state governments in the North-West and North-Central have adopted a non-conventional approach to help the security agencies to better protect our communities. In our own case, we have about 900 trained and vetted vigilantes personnel working with the security agencies.

“However, we still observed that there is no alternative to launching simultaneous operations in all states.”

First published in PUNCH

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