We won’t surrender to bandits, El-Rufai vows

 Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai has vowed his administration will not succumb to bandits despite the spate of killings and abductions in the State.

He countered those circulating video of his statement on kidnapping and abduction by bandits and terrorists during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Governor was seen in the video clip dated 2014, arguing Jonathan ought to have deployed all possible means to secure Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram.

He was accused of backtracking, following his contradictory action and refusal to negotiate with kidnappers terrorising his state.

El-Rufai, who gave context to the video clip where he was advocating for all options to ensure release of the abducted Chibok girls, said mass abduction was like a novelty in 2014 but facts have changed since then as negotiations and ransoms have not stopped the criminals.

Responding to the public accusations, the Governor, through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, said the quantum of money paid as ransom following many negotiations with bandits have neither stopped kidnappings nor deterred the criminals from perpetrating evil.

He argued several states who sought to negotiate with bandits by paying money or offering amnesty have not gotten any good result.

Rather, he said, such move only encouraged the criminals to press ahead for a surrender of the public treasury to them.

According to the Governor: “Nigeria’s journey since the 2014 Chibok tragedy has proven that the solution to violent crimes, including terrorism and banditry, is a robust response from the state and its coercive agencies.

“The quantum of money paid as ransom following many negotiations with bandits have not stopped kidnappings, reduced their frequency or deterred the criminals.

“The experience of many states in the Northwest of Nigeria since 2015 has included cattle rustling, kidnappings, killings and the devastation of communities by criminals. Several states sought to negotiate their way out of the problems by talking to bandits, paying them money or offering them amnesty.

“This has not worked and has only encouraged the criminals to press ahead for a surrender of the public treasury to them. That is clearly not in the public interest.

“Mass abduction was like in novelty in 2014. But the facts have changed since then. Negotiations and ransoms have been undertaken, but these have not stopped the criminals.

“It has only encouraged them. It is only prudent to review one’s position when the facts change and the suggestion made by a citizen years ago cannot be taken as the immutable answer to a serious problem which has evolved since 2014, no matter the viral replays of the said video clip.

“The Kaduna State Government has been consistently transparent about its security challenges. It has supported and continues to resource the security agencies in the state.

“The fact that criminals seek to hold us by the jugular does not mean we should surrender and create an incentive for more crime.

“In today’s Nigeria, it has become fashionable to treat the unlawful demands of bandits as worthy of consideration and to lampoon people who insist that outlaws should be crushed and not mollycoddled or availed the resources they can use to unleash further outrages.”


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