Security

Why  bandits are more daring than Boko Haram – El-Rufai

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.

The bandits operate in the North-west and North-central regions while the activities of Boko Haram insurgents are largely confined to the North-east of Nigeria.

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 in Kaduna, 1,018 animals were rustled, while there were 77 reports received relating to destruction of farms across the state within the period.

Mr El-Rufai compared the two groups behind Nigeria’s worst security challenges in many decades while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday.

“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.

“I have shown you the numbers in Kaduna. I can assure you that the numbers in Zamfara and Katsina are up to three times this if they are keeping taps. The numbers in Sokoto, Niger, and Kebbi will be about this.

“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, this is a far more serious problem,” Mr El-Rufa’i said.

“Because, this is a situation largely in which people of about the same ethnicity, same religion are killing each other, stealing each other’s property, creating an industry out of criminality. It is very, very serious and it requires single-minded attention.

“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 fire power, doesn’t have 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 defence system,” the Kaduna governor said.

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