Gift Joseph Okpakorese
The state governor of Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, has recently revealed that his administration will not in any way encourage or get involved in any form. of dialogue with bandits and kidnappers who are currently terrorizing the country especially the northern regions.
News sources had earlier reported the series of attacks on local communities and villages of Kaduna in the past few weeks, with a particular focus on children and students within the educational institutes.
According to the story told by an eyewitness, on Monday, last week armed robbers broke into a UBE primary school at Rama in Birnin-Gwari LGA, and abducted some school teachers.
Meanwhile, as a result of the numerous and trending attacks on various northern states, by bandits and alleged kidnappers, Ahmad Gumi, a well-known Islamic clergyperson, who has also been known to be in constant contact and communication with the said hoodlums, had called for a consensus and the need for the federal government to broker a deal with these nefarious criminals.
However, remarking on the recurrent problem at a dilated conference of the state security council on Tuesday last week, the Kaduna state government insisted that his duty as an administrator of the state was to ensure law and order prevailed and also to help reprimand and prosecute criminal elements within the state and he rejected any suggestions or insinuations of himself getting involved in negotiations with thieves, kidnappers or terrorists.
In line with his own words;
“We will not engage with bandits or kidnappers. Private citizens like clerics and clergymen can do so in their capacities, to preach to them and ask them to repent. We also want them to repent but it is not our job to ask them to do so,” he said.
El-Rufai further remarked that “the nicest way to solve the farmer-herder conflicts, cattle rustling, and banditry “is for nomadic herdsmen to live more sedentary lives for them to be more productive and give their children education and access to better healthcare”.
He went on insisting that the old nomadic way of cattle rearing has become extinct over time and also with constant modernization and new technological processes springing up daily. and population growth as most of the cattle routes has been taken over by development.
He, therefore, recommended that an alternative plan be put in place in line with the new development caused by urbanization. He alluded to the proposed intentions of the government plans to implement a ranching project in Damau Grazing Reserve, Kubau LGA.
Just as it is being practiced in we’ll developed countries outside the shores of Nigeria, El-Rufai confirmed that the proposed project which has already begun will facilitate the herders centralise their cattle in an environment with pastures, a school, and a primary healthcare centre, with commercial investors ready to buy their dairy products.
It was also reported that the All-encompassing security council meeting was well supported with attendance by traditional rulers, religious leaders, professional associations, trade unions, and civil society groups.
Some citizens and groups of persons especially those who have been unfortunate to be victims of these criminal insurgents have lauded the initiative and genuine efforts of the Kaduna state government and hope others follow suit in the bus to tackle the problem posed by terrorists and bandits within the country.