HomeNewsHuman InterestWhy military is reluctant to wipe out bandits --- el-Rufai

Why military is reluctant to wipe out bandits — el-Rufai

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THE Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai on Thursday said that the military had been reluctant to engage fully bandits that have been terrorizing the country especially the Northwest because of the fear of being dragged before the International Court of Justice, ICC.

Governor el-Rufai stated this when he featured on the weekly ministerial press briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the presidential villa, Abuja.

He said while he had campaigned for the bandits to be classified as terrorists, there were some push backs on the ground that they do not have a recognized leadership structure.

He, however, expressed delight over the court ruling, which recently declared the bandits as terrorists and therefore made them “a fair game.”

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According to him, to deal with the criminality permanently, there must be a simultaneous ground and air attacks in all the states hosting the criminals to prevent them from escaping.

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The Kaduna state governor said the locations of the terrorists are known, adding that they must be wiped out at once rather than the present piecemeal approach if the problem must be solved.

He said the Fulanis who are involved in the criminality will never abandon the business on their own because they make far more money from it than they would have made from legitimate cattle business.

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The governor affirmed that kidnapping and terrorism had since become business but with the added element of collaborating with Boko Haram even as he said the effort to tackle the menace had been uncoordinated.

He said some state governors had the impression that negotiating with the criminals would end the problem but later realized that it was a mistake.

He revealed that northwest state governments began a process of cooperation and co-financing the military operation against cattle rustling.

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He regretted that the operation was not sustained because some of them backed out after some success was recorded only for kidnapping to take over.

On the statistics of the victims of the criminality in the area, he said in the reported cases, 937 were killed and 1,972 kidnapped by bandits in the state in 2020, while a total of 1,192 killed and 3,348 kidnapped in 2021, which he said suggested a deterioration in the situation.

He furthrr regretted the challenge of lack of capacity of Nigeria’s security agencies in terms of adequate personnel and equipment, stressing the need to recruit more hands and procure sufficient equipment.

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