By John Ikani
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai says the absolute control of security architecture by Federal Government is slowinng down efforts of North-West Governors To end banditry in the region
El-Rufai made the submission when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television to speak on the security issues in the state and efforts being made in the war against banditry.
According to him, the governors map out strategies to deal with banditry, but the constraints on the federal side sometimes slow them down in terms of implementation.
What the Governor Said:
“It can be very frustrating sometimes because as state governor, I am supposed to be the chief security officer of my state but as I have explained several times, the state governors control no security assets at all. These are federal security assets and while they collaborate with us to some extent, at the end of the day, they take their orders from Abuja.
“There are some things that we want done but are not done. We have been meeting as governors of eight frontline states and we have very clear strategies and plans to end this banditry but the constraints on the federal sides sometimes slow us down. But we are working together more collaboratively. Right now, I think we have turned the corner. I think the issue of banditry in the North West is at a tipping point and very soon, we are going to see the end of it. The aggressive military and police operations across the air is dismembering them and I think we are coming to the end of it by the grace of God”.
What You Shold Know
Populations in northwest Nigeria are facing the ever increasing threat of banditry, a type of organized crime that includes kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, rape, cattle-rustling, and the exploitation of environmental resources.
Banditry has become an appealing method of income in northwest Nigeria where weak governance, youth unemployment, poverty, and inequality have left people with depleted options for livelihood.
Security services are often understaffed and lack the proper resources to effectively combat banditry. Vast areas of unregulated forests allow for easy concealment, and police and military forces have difficulty penetrating the rough terrain.
In addition, under-policed borders have aided the proliferation of small arms and light weapons amongst bandit groups.
Government has responded at both state and federal level. The initial reaction was the bombardments of the various abodes of the bandits by the military and police under different code names, but this did not yield significant result.
The state governments have also tried to negotiate and give amnesty to repentant bandits. While this initially worked, the result did not last.