Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State says, armed bandits are more daring than Boko Haram, and their atrocities more devastating than those of the Islamist insurgents.
Mr. El-Rufai compared the two groups behind Nigeria’s worst security challenges in many decades, stressing that the insurgency in the northwest is more serious than Boko Haram.
“I am persuaded that the insurgency in the northwest is far more serious than Boko Haram in terms of the numbers of the people affected.
Also read: https://1stnews.com/buhari-in-nasarawa-pledges-to-tackle-insecurity/
“We are talking of tens of thousands of people getting killed, getting kidnapped. It is far more serious than Boko Haram.
The only thing is that these guys don’t occupy territory; they are in the forest and ungoverned spaces.
“So, they do not attract the kind of single-minded attention that Boko Haram does. And because Boko Haram’s ideology is religious, intentionally religious; it elicits more passion but really.
“Because, this is a situation in which people of the same ethnicity, same religion; are killing each other, stealing each other’s property, creating an industry out of criminality. It is very serious and, requires single-minded attention.
We know where these bandits are
“We know where these bandits are, we have the maps. But somebody has to go in and kill them. I can’t do that.
If that somebody doesn’t have enough men, doesn’t have enough firepower, doesn’t have the technology, no one is going to commit suicide.
“This is why under this administration, Nigeria’s Governors Forum; collaborated with the federal government to take money from the Excess Crude Account to buy super Tocano jets and, other armaments to strengthen our defense system”.
The bandits operate in the North-west and North-central regions; while the activities of Boko Haram insurgents are largely confined to the northeast of Nigeria.
Bandits have killed thousands
Like the insurgents in the North-east, bandits have killed, abducted, or displaced tens of thousands of people in Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Niger States over the last few years.
Meanwhile, statistics from Kaduna State Government said, at least 343 persons died due to banditry; between July and September last year; while 830 people were kidnapped.
The government said 69 bandits were killed by security agencies, 210 citizens injured, 10 victims raped, and 101 persons rescued by troops in the state within the same period.
Also, 1,018 animals were rustled, while there were 77 reported destructions of farms across the state.