Those Siding Bandits Are ‘Ethnic Jingoists, Religious Apologists’ — El-Rufai

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has that said anyone justifying the activities of bandits or terrorists in northern Nigeria are either ethnic jingoist or religious apologists who have failed to acknowledge that no legitimate government will tolerate them.

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The governor made the remarks during the presentation of the 2021 Kaduna security situation report in the state, where it was revealed that no fewer than 3,348 people were abducted and 1,192 killed.

According to him, there are no immediate or remote causes to justify conducts of terrorists and as such, the state will not subscribe to the concept of ‘repentant bandits’.

He said, “We continue to emphasise that as a state government, we do not believe that there is any phenomenon like ‘repentant bandits’.

“Any person that makes a conscious decision to secure arms, challenges the authority of the Nigerian state, and threatens the lives and property of Nigerians does not deserve to live or be granted any concession by society.

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“There are no immediate or remote causes to justify terrorist conduct. Those that hide behind these are either ethnic jingoists, religious apologists, or fail to recognise that no legitimate government can survive by tolerating terrorists or negotiating with those that menace law-abiding citizens”.

THE WHISTLER reported that Governor El-Rufai had said last year that the wish of his administration was for all terrorists and bandits to be killed, saying “The only repentant bandit is the one that is dead. Our intention in the state is to kill them (terrorists), let them go and see God.”

While receiving the security report yesterday, the governor opined that not until terrorists are decimated that ‘soft’, non-kinetic peace-building will gain traction.

El-Rufai further sympathised with the communities affected by various attacks in the state, especially those within Zangon-Kataf where no fewer than 11 people killed and 30 houses razed by terrorist on Sunday.

He stressed that this outbreak of violence was a serious challenge to the community-level peace process initiated by the Agwam of Zangon Kataf and community leaders in the area.

The governor had earlier noted that the number of persons killed in 2021 increased by 255, compared to those killed by bandits and criminals in 2020 despite the efforts being put in place to address insecurity in the state.

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