Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says his colleagues are in agreement that bandits must be completely “wiped out”.
El-Rufai said security agencies must eliminate anyone found in the hideouts of bandits, adding that no inhabitant of forests is innocent.
He made the comment while speaking at an event tagged Financing Safe School on Tuesday in Abuja.
Although some northern governors, particularly Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, have advocated for dialogue with bandits, el-Rufai insists that they are all on the same page on “killing them all”.
The governor said: “Our position as governors and we are unanimous in this because we, the northern states’ governors, met with the president on this subject. Our unanimous position is to wipe out the bandits. We must go into these forests, nobody living in that forest is innocent, and just kill them all. It is the only way to end this.”
“We need the combination of air power, and we need troops on the ground augmented by local expertise and knowledge. We need just one, two, three months operation to just try to kill all the bandits. It’s the only way to stop this. So long as these bandits are being paid, it’ll remain a business. So the only option that we have is to ensure that we kill them all.”
The Kaduna governor said there’s been a decline in the operation of bandits across the northern part of the country.
He said the reduction in banditry is due to the efforts of the Nigerian air force.
“I’m very happy that the chief of air staff has been bombing them. So you’ll see there’s a decline in banditry. What you see is the coordinated action with air power, use of drones,” el-Rufai said.
He, however, noted that more advanced weapons must be acquired for the security agencies in order to make their operations more efficient.
“I think the security agencies also need more advanced technology. The Air force needs more drones. Drones are much cheaper than planes and there are drones now that can carry missiles,” the governor said.
“Because they [the bandits] know when they hear the sound of the aircraft and hide in the bushes. But drones can be more targeted, more selective and quiet. And drones can also fly in circumstances that airplanes cannot due to bad weather.”
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