Insecurity: Give Us State Police, Decentralise Judiciary Now – El-Rufai

 

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has joined his voice with national analysts calling for devolution of power between the Federal Government and 36 states in the country.

The governor who was one of the speakers at a programme called ‘Radio Now’s Urgent Conversation’ aired Thursday on Channels Television said state police and devolution of the judiciary is important to save Nigeria from the brink of collapse.

“I will dwell on three of the issues that I believe are critical to the immediate needs of the country to pull back from the brink.

READ ALSO: Bandits: PDP Demands Immediate Sack Of Defence Minister For Asking Nigerians To Defend Themselves

“The first, it is imperative for Federal, state, and community policing. We do not have enough police. One centralised police for the country just has not worked.

“Secondly, we must amend the constitution and relevant laws to ensure control of oil and gas, mines, and minerals in the states that already have control over land under the land use Act with royalties and taxes payable to the Federal Government and the Federation Account

“Number three, we must rectify the anomaly of a Federation that has a more or less unitary judiciary,” the governor explained.

While stressing his earlier points highlighted, the governor said, “My first recommendation is to implement the three key devolution proposals that I mentioned above. Give us state police now, vest all minerals in the state now, and decentralised our judiciary now, not tomorrow, not later.”

El-Rufai also stressed that banditry is a national problem and it is the responsibility of relevant stakeholders to calm nerves through their utterances and not fan the embers of division.

“It is an understatement to say that Nigeria is in one of its most difficult moments. The genuine fears for their lives and property felt by many citizens across the country need to be assuaged. All responsible persons must show compassion to our compatriots that have been affected while calming nerves.

“Banditry is a national problem, with victims from all parts of the country, and we should address it with a common resolve,” El-Rufai said.

According to the governor, the country requires elite consensus to take the poison out of identity politics.

Negotiating With Bandits Is Waste Of Time, Says El-Rufai

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has described the efforts being made by a prominent northern-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi to woo bandits to lay down their arms and embrace peace, as an exercise in futility.

The governor said that the bandits were used to getting big money as ransom and will therefore find it difficult to repent after all.

He disclosed this on Thursday during an interview with the Hausa Service of the BBC, insisting that his administration is at war with the bandits and will never negotiate with them.

“I never believed that a Fulani herdsman who ventured into banditry and is collecting millions of Naira as ransom will repent. I spoke to Dr Gumi, who is my friend. I explained that the majority of these bandits don’t believe in religion. That is why they kill mercilessly,” he said.

“Anybody who thinks a Fulani herdsman that was used to only getting N100,000 in a year, after selling a cow but now is getting millions through  kidnapping for ransom will stop, is only wasting his time.”

While warning that any of the criminals arrested in Kaduna State will face the law, El-Rufai said Gumi is wasting his time as there won’t be any forgiveness and compensation for bandits.

READ ALSO: Senate To Debate Farmers/Herders Crisis On Tuesday

The governor also lamented the division amongst governors in the Northwest region on the synergy to confront the criminal elements in the North.

He maintained that while some of his colleagues preferred dialogue with bandits as a solution, he and other governors thought otherwise.

“We the governors lack unity among ourselves in this region in working as one to neutralise the bandits. We in Kaduna and Niger state are talking on how to end the problem.

“The governor of Niger State called me and we are discussing. Anybody that thinks a Fulani man that ventured into kidnapping for ransom and he is earning millions of Naira will go back to his former life of getting N100,000 after selling a cow in a year, must be deceiving himself.

“Why should they be compensated after killing people? They destroyed their houses. Who offended them? Ahmad Gumi is my friend and this is what I told him.

“I told him that the majority of these Fulani bandits don’t believe in religion. Therefore, I don’t believe in what he is doing, that they should be forgiven and compensated. If any ‎bandit is arrested in Kaduna State, the bandit will be killed because Kaduna is in war with bandits,” he added.

El-Rufai Pardons Prisoners On New Year Day

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has ordered the release of 12 convicts in celebration of the New Year 2021.

This is an exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 212 of the constitution and on the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.

According to a statement issued on Friday by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, the pardoned convicts comprises of  10 people who were serving sentences of three years and above, with six months or less to serve.

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Adekeye further said that the other two convicts that were pardoned “were convicts who were released on the ground of age.”

“Tunde Ikuenaya was imprisoned on November 16, 2017, for four years for criminal misappropriation, adding that he is 64 years old and he was expected to be released on March 16, 2021.’’

“Ifeanyi Chiebuike Nweke, Mohammed Mamman Santare, and Samaila Danjuma were convicted and sentenced at various times for culpable homicide,’’ the statement revealed.

The governor also commuted Joshua Yashim’s death sentence to life imprisonment, Adekeye said, explaining that the convict was sentenced to death by hanging for culpable homicide on June 9, 2011.

“He has been in prison custody since 2007 when the offence was committed and has spent 13 years there. He did not appeal due to a lack of funds.

12 Killed, 25 Injured In Kaduna-Abuja Road Accident

Scene of the accident in Kaduna State on December 23, 2020.

 

Twelve people have been confirmed dead and 25 others injured in a road accident that occurred along the Kaduna- Abuja highway.

The crash which involved a trailer on Wednesday was caused by a combination of speeding, road defects, driving against the direction of traffic, and loss of control.

During a visit to the scene of the incident, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the trailer veered off the road pavement and overturned due to over speeding.

He disclosed that the 25 injured victims were receiving treatment in the hospital, noting that some livestock also perished in the accident.

READ ALSO: Three Killed, 33 Injured In Niger Road Accident

The commissioner also led extensive patrols along the Kaduna-Abuja highway to enforce compliance with the ban on driving against the direction of traffic.

Aruwan warned motorists to be mindful of the inherent danger involved in driving against traffic and the need for them to maintain their lane.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has expressed sadness over the report of the fatal accident, commiserating with the families of the deceased while wishing the injured a quick recovery.

The governor appealed asked motorists to avoid overspeeding, overloading, reckless driving, and driving against the flow of traffic which was prohibited by the Kaduna State Government a week ago.

Again, Gunmen Kill Four In Kaduna, Troops Deployed To Flashpoints

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

Four people have been confirmed killed in another reprisal attack in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

This is coming barely 24 hours after seven people were murdered in what security agencies describe as reprisal killing in Kauru and Lere Local Government Areas of the state.

Confirming the latest incident, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said military and police authorities disclosed that the four persons were killed on Saturday.

Troops under the auspices of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) had reported on Thursday and yesterday the killing of seven persons at Gora Gan in Zangon Kataf local government and the counter-killing of seven herders at Ungwan Idi and Kasheku of Kauru local government.

The commissioner explained that following clearance operations at Ungwan Gaiya, Ungwan Gimba and Ungwan Makama of Zangon Kataf local government, three more corpses were recovered, two of which have been identified.

He also noted that two houses were burnt in the attack while the corpses and other valuables were handed over to the police for further investigation and analyses.

READ ALSO: Police Rescue 84 Schoolchildren, Dislodge Bandits In Katsina

In the meantime, troops of Operation Safe Haven and Special Forces are still carrying out operations in Kauru and Zangon Kataf local government areas.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai who sent condolences to the families that lost their loved ones on behalf of the Kaduna State Government reiterated the need for aggrieved individuals and groups to seek recourse to the law instead of resorting to illegal and violent methods of settling grievances.

He also commended security agencies, traditional and religious institutions, community leaders and other critical stakeholders who remain committed to the peacebuilding efforts of the government, despite the challenging situation.

The governor commended the military and police authorities for the deployment of more personnel to the two local government areas, towards enhancing security.

El-Rufai Kicks As ‘Reprisal Attacks’ Claim Seven Lives In Two Kaduna LGAs

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

No fewer than seven people have been killed in what security agencies described as reprisal attacks in Kauru and Lere Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.

The fresh killings which occurred on Saturday came barely two days after seven other people were murdered by gunmen in Zango Kataf LGA.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the incidents in a statement hours after the attacks occurred.

He said the counter-attacks occurred in some herders’ settlements in Kauru and Lere LGA.

Quoting the operational feedback from the security agencies, the commissioner confirmed that the attacks were carried out by aggrieved youths following the killing of seven persons at Gora Gan in Zangon Kataf.

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

The security agencies reported that seven people were killed in a counter-killing in Ungwan Idi and Kasheku villages of Kauru LGA while two herders were injured at Ningi village in Lere LGA.

Aruwa also noted that troops were searching for five persons whose whereabouts were unknown after the attack, while six huts were burnt in the incident.

In his reaction, Governor Nasir El-Rufai condemned the renewed counter-killings and extended his condolences to the families who lost their loved ones.

He also wished those recuperating a speedy recovery, describing the renewed killing and counter-killing of innocent citizens of Atyap and Fulani ethnicity as unfortunate.

The governor decried the resort to violence, noting that it was not a solution to grievances and disputes but a tragic way to escalate matters and drag people into more pains and misery.

He directed the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to provide relief materials to the affected families with immediate effect.

Many Policemen Carrying Handbags For VIP’s Wives, Says El-Rufai

A file photo of a police officer displaying the crest of the Nigeria Police Force. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

A majority of the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force are not engaged in police duty, despite the shortage of manpower in the force.

This is the position of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State who is worried about the rate of insecurity in the country.

Speaking during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, the governor insisted that decentralising the police was the way to go for Nigeria.

“We have always made a very strong argument that one centralised police in a federation does not work; Nigeria is the only country in the world that is a federation that has only one police force.

“We have made the argument that states should be allowed to have their own police and even the local governments should be allowed to have community policing,” Governor El-Rufai stated.

He added, “The number of policemen we have in Nigeria is inadequate, it is less than half of what we need and a large percentage of them are engaged in non-police duties like carrying handbags of the wives of important people.

“We need to have a greater footprint of police in Nigeria and the only way to achieve that in a fast track manner is to amend the Constitution and put policing on the concurrent list as recommended by the APC True Federalism Committee so that we have more policemen.”

 

Governors Are Frustrated

The governor decried that it was only in Nigeria among other countries in the world where a federation has only one police force.

He said the running cost of the police, including the provision of funds for vehicles, fuel, and communication, among others was the responsibility of the state governments.

Governor El-Rufai also condemned the situation in which governors have very limited or no control over the affairs of the police in their states.

He said, “I am frustrated in my state, many governors are frustrated in their states; we are called chief security officers only in name, we have no control over cohesive instruments of the state.

“We are almost helpless. The #EndSARS protest clearly showed the limit to the control of governors over the police and the military.”

Insecurity: Governors Are Frustrated, Almost Helpless, Says El-Rufai

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is unhappy with the security challenges in the country and dissatisfied with the roles of the state governors, as provided for in the Nigerian Constitution.

Governor El-Rufai, who is in Dubai, suggested the way to go to ensure the nation surmounts its various security challenges such as insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping among others during an interview with Channels Television on Monday.

He stressed that the recent #EndSARS protest by youths against police brutality in parts of the country has exposed the inability of the governors despite being called the Chief Security Officers of their states.

“We are all frustrated. I am frustrated in my state, many governors are frustrated in their states; we are called chief security officers only in name, we have no control over cohesive instruments of the state,” the governor said on Politics Today.

He added, “We are almost helpless. The #EndSARS protest clearly showed the limit to the control of governors over the police and the military.

“Some of us have more influence than others, but to a large extent, you ask the commissioner of police to do something and he has to clear with the Inspector-General of Police; this is the reality.

“We are not in control of the police, I don’t determine who gets posted to my state as CP and if I give him directives, he can decide to flout the directives. So, we are all frustrated.”

 

Amend The Constitution

Governor El-Rufai believes decentralising the police force will go a long way in addressing the security problems bedevilling the nation.

According to him, Nigeria is the only country in the world that is a federation that has only one police force.

The governor stated that the governors had engaged in arguments that states should be allowed to have their own police, while local governments should be allowed to have community police.

He noted that most state governments were responsible for the running cost of the police such as vehicles, fuel, communication, while the Federal Government was only responsible for the payment of the salaries of policemen.

Governor El-Rufal, therefore, stressed the need to recruit more personnel into the police force and ensure they were rightly deployed into designated areas of duty.

“The number of policemen we have in Nigeria is inadequate, it is less than half of what we need and a large percentage of them are engaged in non-police duties like carrying handbags of the wives of important people.

“We need to have a greater footprint of police in Nigeria and the only way to achieve that in a fast track manner is to amend the Constitution and put policing on the concurrent list, as recommended by the APC True Federalism Committee so that we have more policemen.”

El-Rufai Meets Youth Leaders, Condemns Attack On Police Officers

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has met with youth leaders from the 23 Local Government Areas of the state, appealing to them not to engage in any act of violence or looting.

During the stakeholders meeting on Friday, El-Rufai vowed to prosecute those behind the looting and threat of peace in Kaduna South and Chikun Local Government Areas according to the law.

“You cannot condemn an entire profession because of the misconduct of a few. SARS is just a small unit of the Nigerian Police Force, and even among SARS, they are not all bad,” he said

“Yes, some of them might have been quite bad and killed many people, but that should not be used to frame the police in a manner that people feel justified to attack and kill policemen.

“I have seen a video where a policeman was attacked and burnt to death. For what? That policeman is a human being, creation from God, he has children, and he has a family.

“Who will look after them? The Nigerian Police is the only police we have, it Is our collective duty as citizens, as leaders to come together and help the police to be better.”

READ ALSO: Taraba Govt Sets Up Task Force To Recover Looted Items

The meeting had in attendance, the deputy Governor, Hadiza Balarabe, the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Mahmoud and other government officials.

The governor also condemned the recent attack of policemen and police barracks in some parts of the country during the #EndSARS protest which led to the death of some officers.

While admitting that there are some bad officers in the Force that should be fished out, El-Rufai warned on the dangers of attacking officers or tagging the entire force as bad because of the misconduct of a few personnel.

He, however, stressed the need as citizens and leaders to come together and help the police to perform better in securing the lives and property of the people.

       Suspected Looters Arrested

The Kaduna State Police Command has arrested 93 suspected looters and vandals of public and private property in various parts of the state capital.

Some people hiding under the #EndSARS protest, had last weekend invaded some government warehouses,  including the office of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and other private property and carted away COVID-19 palliatives, seized fake and expired drugs, and other items.

Briefing journalists on the security situation in the state, the Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri explained that the arrested suspects were responsible for the unprecedented vandalization and theft of public and private properties across the state.

He said that the police also recovered several looted items including bags of grains, expired drugs, mattresses,  bundles of zinc, computers,  air conditioners, water testing machines and many others, all looted from the NAFDAC office, private and public warehouses as well as private homes.

According to the commissioner, the command in collaboration with other sister security agencies has so far dealt decisively with all acts of lawlessness in the state, adding that all the suspects will be charged to court.

Gunmen Kill Seven In Fresh Kaduna Attack, El-Rufai Reacts

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

At least seven people have been killed and several others injured when gunmen attacked Kidandan and Kadai communities in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Channels Television learned that the gunmen invaded the communities on Saturday night, opened fire on the residents and burnt down houses.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the attack.

In a statement he signed, the commissioner said the attackers were fleeing bandits who were successfully repelled by security operatives and local vigilantes on Friday when they attempted to attack the Kidandan general area from a neighbouring state.

According to the Commissioner, the bandits regrouped in the said neighbouring state and advanced to the community after losing a number of their members to the superior firepower of the security operatives.

He explained that it was while escaping from the superior firepower that some of the fleeing bandits carried out a reprisal attack on Kadai village, leading to loss of lives, and razing of houses, motorcycles and vehicles in the villages.

Aruwan, however, said that security operatives and local vigilante neutralized an unspecified number of the bandits, while many escaped with varying degrees of bullet wounds.

Ground troops and police were mobilized while the Nigerian Air Force deployed a fighter jet to the general area for an immediate offensive against the horde of bandits.

Meanwhile, the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has condoled with the people of Kadai and Kidandan communities over the unfortunate incident.

The governor, in a message of condolence, prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives and also wished those that were injured a speedy recovery.

The Governor praised all security personnel and volunteers involved in the operation, describing their effort as a gallant act of sacrifice and deep patriotism in view of the steadfastness exhibited by the operatives and local vigilante.

He also appealed to the security agencies to sustain the ongoing onslaught against armed bandits and other criminals engaged in nefarious activities, stating that the ongoing operation will continue, as well as the deployment of troops and operatives to flashpoints in the counter banditry campaign.

Kaduna Govt Approves N1.6bn For Pensioners

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

 

The Kaduna State Government has released the sum of N1.6 billion for the payment of pensions, gratuities and death benefits to retired civil servants,

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Saturday by the Executive Secretary of the State Pension Bureau, Salamatu Isa.

She explained that the bureau has commenced physical verification of pensioners, which she notes is necessary to ensure that only genuine pensioners are paid.

According to Isa, the move is to ensure that pensioners supplied complete information, including correct account numbers and Bank Verification Number.

“We commenced payment of gratuities and death benefits on the 15th of September 2020 for batch 10. The state government released the sum of 1.6 billion naira, and we will pay pensioners from the State and 23 Local Governments that have been scheduled in the batch that is ready for payment.

“We want pensioners and next of kin of those who died to come over for physical verification. We also want to use exercise to collect complete information from the beneficiaries because some of them did not give complete information to the Bureau when they retired,” she said.

While noting that the bureau is currently paying the 10th batch of retired civil servants who have undergone verification, she lamented that there are people in batch 1-9 whose banks were unable to pay because they supplied incorrect account numbers and BVN.

She said that the bureau will ensure that all necessary information is supplied before names are forwarded to the banks to prevent a situation whereby pensioners have issues with their banks.

The Executive Secretary of the Pension Bureau asked civil servants who have retired from the state to come to the bureau with all relevant documents and information required.

She revealed that current administration inherited huge backlog of unpaid retirement and death benefits running into several billions of naira which previous governments failed to clear, saying it is impossible for any government to clear such amount in one swoop.

She commended the current administration for regular release of funds to clear the liabilities in batches.

El-Rufai Clarifies Selection Process Of New Zazzau Emir

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has reiterated the commitment of the state government in ensuring that the selection process for the new Emir of Zazzau is carefully done.

The governor disclosed this in a statement issued on Friday by his spokesman, Muyiwa Adekeye.

While quoting the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Balarabe Abbas, the procedure is for the kingmakers of Zazzau Emirate to address their recommendations to the Commissioner of Local Government Affairs, who will in turn process the document and forward to the Governor.

“Upon receipt of the correspondence from the commissioner, the SSG will avail the security agencies of the names on the shortlist for the necessary checks,” Adekeye said.

“It is the duty of the SSG to forward the recommendations and the associated security report to the Governor for his consideration.”

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The governor’s spokesman confirmed that the report of the kingmakers has been submitted, adding that it is a step that will trigger the next sequence of events in the chain of reporting and security vetting.’

According to Adekeye, the SSG appealed for calm and understanding as the responsible institutions manage a selection process that was last used 45 years ago.

The former Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris died on September 20 at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in the Kaduna state capital after a brief illness.

He was 84 years and was buried the next day in the state.