Don’t let dislodged bandits from Zamfara move to Kaduna, el-Rufai appeals to Military

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Edozie Udeojo, Abuja

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has urged  the military to intensify its fight against banditry in the state. Over the weeks, the military has coordinated different offensives against suspected bandits in the north-west, especially Zamfara and Sokoto states.

El-Rufai further expressed concerns over dislodged bandits who might find their way into his state while also stating that food production was in jeopardy as a result of the activities of bandits in the northwestern part of the country.

He stated this in an interview with State House Correspondents on Friday in Abuja, when he paid the new Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, a private visit. He also met separately with Minister of Defence and the Service Chiefs over the activities of bandits in the northwest in general and Kaduna State in particular.

According to el-Rufai;

“The Sokoto story only hit the headlines just a few days ago, but in Zamfara, in Kaduna, in Niger, in Katsina, this banditry has become a northwestern scourge and we have been battling it with the support of the military; we are very grateful to the Nigerian air force, the Nigerian army and in our own particular case, even the navy has been holding fort Southern Kaduna,” he said.

Speaking further he said ;”the bandits have ravaged the region in the same manner the Boko Haram terrorism did, but applauded the armed forces operations aimed at halting the activities of the criminals. 

The governor expressed fears that the bandits might migrate to Kaduna State, especially as they had started feeling the heat turned on them in Sokoto and Zamfara states by the military. He charged the military to reinforce its operations in the state as failure to deal with banditry now would take a huge toll on the farming season. He said he has been assured by the Chief of Air Staff that every necessary step would be taken to secure the state for farmers.

“We’ve been dealing with this issue and our concern now is with the operations in Sokoto and Zamfara. Many of the bandits will move to Kaduna, this is part of the reasons I’m here, I’ll be meeting with the minister of defense  and the service chiefs to try to get more military activities, some operations to be strengthened.

“I must say that they’ve been doing very well, they’ve supported us, but this banditry is a big problem. It’s going to affect agriculture unless it is dealt with and I believe that it will be dealt with. The chief of air staff has assured me that whatever that will need to be done to wipe out the bandits, to enable our farmers to go to farm as the rains advance, will be done. We are confident that things will get better.”

The governor said it’s unfortunate that the same way Boko Haram has ravaged the north-east, the bandits are also becoming a serious problem in the north-west.

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