Bandits Using Proceeds Of Abduction To Fund Boko Haram, Says El-Rufai

A combination of file photos of Governor Nasir El-Rufai and a man holding a rifle.

 

A strong link has been established between the bandits terrorising the North West and the Boko Haram insurgents operating in the North East.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, stated this when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, saying his government would not negotiate with bandits.

“It has been established that the kidnapping operations (by bandits) are substantially funding Boko Haram activities in the North East.

“Boko Haram has no way of getting any money and some of them have slipped and joined the ranks of the bandits, and together they are doing this to raise a large amount of money that are being used to fund the intensified operations of Boko Haram,” he said.

The governor decried that banditry and insurgency have evolved with time into what he described as a business and a structured industry.

He explained that this was so as the criminals now have various specialised roles within their ranks which enable them to attack communities.

 

Fighting Nigeria’s Sovereignty?

Governor El-Rufai listed such roles to include informants, petrol suppliers, truck suppliers, food suppliers, suppliers of weapons and ammunition, and doctors who treat insurgents who sustain bullet wounds during attacks.

He stressed that there was no way Boko Haram could gather money to fund their operations in the North East without the help of bandits in the North West.

According to the governor, a branch of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) – a splinter of the Boko Haram sect – is assembling in the forest in Birnin Gwari Local Government of Kaduna State.

He, however, stated that the leader of the group has been arrested and a lot of his commanders have been killed in military airstrikes.

 

 

Asked if the bandits could be tagged as terrorists, Governor El-Rufai said, “Absolutely, no doubt about it. This is a position we have held in Kaduna State as far back as two and half years ago.

“We insisted that these are insurgents, they are terrorists; they are fighting the sovereignty to Nigeria and we must treat them as such.”

“The bulk of the money is going into terrorist financing; there is a branch of ISWAP called Ansar-Ur that is congregating in the forest in Birnin Gwari, led by a man and their objectives are very similar to Boko Haram, except that they are not against western education,” he added.

Bandits Attacking Kaduna Because We Refused To Give Them Money – El-Rufai

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has insisted that the state government has no money to pay bandits amid the renewed attacks by armed groups in the state.

He stated that the recent bandits’ attacks on communities in the state were a result of the government’s decision that it would not negotiate with them.

“We have a feeling that the renewed attacks in Kaduna are not unconnected to the position that we have taken as a government that we will not negotiate with criminals,” said the governor who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

He added, “We will not give them any money and they will not make any profit from Kaduna; anyone that comes to Kaduna will not get a penny from the state government, except he will get a bullet instead.”

 

According to Governor El-Rufai, the security challenges being witnessed in the north-west region of the country have been existing for some years and gradually evolving and getting worse with time.

He was confident that while the state government does not have any reason to change his position, the military would wipe out the bandits from the region.

The governor stressed that the government would continue to protect the people of the state and their properties, no matter the antics of the armed men.

He insisted that the government would not be intimidated by the activities of the bandits and would continue to be encouraged by the success recorded by the military in the course of its operations.

“The bandits and their leaders decided to collectively target Kaduna State because of the position we have taken that we will not negotiate with them, that we will not give them a penny of taxpayers’ money and whoever comes to Kaduna for banditry or kidnapping will most likely end up dead,” said Governor El-Rufai.

Although he stated that they were making efforts to rescue the abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, the governor declined to reveal the strategy of the government.

Tragic Easter As Bandits Kill Five In Kaduna Community

A combination of file photos of the map of Kaduna State and a gun recovered from crime suspects.

 

Tragedy struck on Sunday in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State as bandits attacked Katarma village in the local government, killing five people and injuring one other.

Confirming the incident, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs,  Samuel Aruwan, said the bandits attacked the community in the early hours of today and started shooting sporadically which led to the death of the five people.

In another incident, troops of Operation Safe Haven reported a clash between some youths in Atuku village of Jema’a Local Government Area, during which one Afiniki Thomas sustained a severe injury on his forehead after he was attacked by two youths.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Govt Vows To Prosecute Anyone Caught Negotiating With Bandits

One of the assailants, Sani Safiyanu was arrested for profiling and investigation while the victim was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Furthermore, troops of Operation Safe Haven while on patrol discovered the decomposing corpse of one Paul Simon, a resident of Yagbak village in Zangon Kataf LGA. The deceased was reported missing on March 24.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has expressed sadness over the incidents.

The governor sent his condolences to their families of the deceased while wishing the injured a quick recovery.

He also asked security agencies to conduct a thorough investigation into the clash in Atulu village in Jema’a local government area.

Kaduna Govt Vows To Prosecute Anyone Caught Negotiating With Bandits On Its Behalf

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, insists that the state government will not pay any money to bandits. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Kaduna State Government has vowed to prosecute anyone caught using its name to negotiate with bandits or terrorists in the state

This is according to the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who made the government’s position known via a statement issued on Sunday.

While noting that the government has not appointed an intermediary to negotiate with bandits on its behalf, the commissioner described it as untrue, media reports suggesting that the Governor Nasir El-Rufai administration appointed representatives to dialogue with the criminal elements.

READ ALSO: Tragic Easter As Bandits Kill Five In Kaduna Community

“The position of the Kaduna State Government remains the same: the Government will not negotiate with or pay ransoms to bandits. Any person who claims to do so in any capacity, if found, will be prosecuted accordingly,” the statement partly read.

“Citizens are urged to report the details of any persons posing as official government negotiators to the Kaduna State Security Operations Room on 09034000060 and 08170189999, or email [email protected]

 

Kaduna Attacks: Schools To Remain Open, Says El-Rufai

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

 

The Kaduna State Government has said it will not close down schools following a spate of attacks by bandits targeting schools, communities and public institutions in some parts of the state.

This is the outcome of a meeting between Governor Nasir El-Rufai, traditional Rulers, religious leaders and other stakeholders on Tuesday, where the residents also backed El-Rufai’s position not to negotiate with the bandits.

Speaking during the meeting, El-Rufai reiterated the commitment of the government to work closely with all relevant stakeholders on how best to tackle the Security challenges confronting Kaduna state.

The meeting comes barely five days after 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization Afaka in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna state were abducted from their hostel by bandits.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Lecturer Accused Of Raping Teenage Student In Ogun

While the search and possible rescue of the abducted students is ongoing, Governor El-Rufai said after an assessment of the security situation by the stakeholders, the government has decided that the schools will remain open and better.

El-Rufai said while the government searches for solutions to the security challenges confronting the state, he said his job as governor is to enforce the law and help to prosecute people who commit offences.

Other issues raised during the meeting are the need for decentralisation of the police force, beefing up security around the schools and above all, taking the fight to the doorsteps of the bandits.

Kaduna Kidnap: 172 Students, Eight Others Rescued With Several Still Missing – Govt

 

No fewer than 172 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State have been rescued.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, disclosed this to Channels Television via a statement issued on Friday.

He said troops of the Nigerian Army in the early hours of today rescued the victims comprising 130 male students and 30 female students.

The commissioner also noted that eight staff members of the institution were also rescued from the kidnappers.

“Troops of the Nigerian Army immediately moved to the school and engaged the armed bandits accordingly,” he said.

“The troops successfully rescued 180 citizens; 42 female students, eight staff, and 130 male students. However, about 30 students, a mix of males and females, are yet to be accounted for.”

READ ALSO: Gunmen Invade Kaduna School, Abduct Students

The Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka in Igabi local Government Area of Kaduna State. Inset: Troops

 

According to Aruwan, some of the rescued students were injured and presently receiving medical attention at a military facility.

Receiving the report, the commissioner noted that Governor Nasir El-Rufai “thanked the troops for their swift response and the rescue of the 180 citizens,” while wishing the injured students a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, a combined team of Army, Air Force, Police, and DSS troops are conducting an operation to track the missing students.

The armed bandits in large numbers had attacked the institution and kidnapped several students and staff.

The bandits were said to have broken into the institution by breaching a perimeter fence before encroaching about 600 meters to attack the first facility.

Some of the rescued students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

 

FIND BELOW THE FULL STATEMENT BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT:

180 rescued, several students missing following the attack at Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Igabi LGA

Troops of the Nigerian Army in the early hours of today, Friday, 12th March 2021 rescued 180 citizens, many of them students, at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Igabi local government area of Kaduna State.

The armed bandits in large numbers had attacked the institution at around 11:30 pm on Thursday and kidnapped several students and staff.

The armed bandits broke into the institution by breaching a perimeter fence. They then encroached about 600 meters to attack the first facility.

Some of the rescued students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka in Igabi local Government Area of Kaduna State.

 

The Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs on receiving a distress call, alerted the 1 Division Nigerian Army and the Air Training Command of the Nigerian Air Force.

Troops of the Nigerian Army immediately moved to the school and engaged the armed bandits accordingly.

The troops successfully rescued 180 citizens; 42 female students, eight staff and 130 male students. However, about 30 students, a mix of males and females, are yet to be accounted for.

Some of the rescued students were injured and presently receiving medical attention at a military facility.

Pictures of some of the rescued persons, and the broken perimeter fence, are attached to this update.

The mother of one of the abducted students of some of the rescued students of theFederal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka in Igabi local Government Area of Kaduna State.

 

Receiving the report, Governor Nasir El-Rufai thanked the troops for their swift response and the rescue of the 180 citizens. He also wished the injured students a speedy recovery.

As at the time of this update, a combined team of Army, Air Force, Police and DSS troops are conducting an operation to track the missing students.

Citizens will be updated on emerging developments.

Signed

Samuel Aruwan

Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna State.

Bandits Killed 937 People In 2020 – Kaduna Govt

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

 

No fewer than 937 people have been killed throughout Kaduna State by bandits with 1,962 others kidnapped in 2020.

This is according to the Kaduna State Government, who disclosed this through the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Wednesday.

The Commissioner who made a presentation of the 2020 Security report before traditional rulers, members of the civil society organisations and the media at the Government House in Kaduna, said that despite the challenges, the government in collaboration with security agencies is working hard to bring the problem to an end.

READ ALSO: El-Rufai, Deputy, Others Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Out of the number of casualties, Aruwan disclosed that the Igabi Local Government Area of the state has the highest figures of 152 deaths followed by the Zango Kataf local government with 114 deaths.

In Kaduna, the activities of bandits have no doubt crippled socioeconomic activities in more than seven local government areas of the state –  Igabi,  Giwa, Chikun,  Zango Kataf,  Zaria,  Kajuru, Kaura and Jemaa.

Apart from affecting means of livelihood, the security problem has also claimed several lives,  many sustained permanent injuries while hundreds of others are  Internally displaced.

El-Rufai, Deputy, Others Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Governor El-Rufai after taking the vaccine told journalists that the vaccine has no side effects

 

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Wednesday publicly took his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine with an appeal to the people of the state to still observe all the safety guidelines against the virus.

The Governor was vaccinated by the Kaduna State Commissioner of Health, Amina Baloni.

Among the top government officials that took the vaccine alongside the Governor are the Deputy Governor, Hadiza Balarabe, and the Senators representing Kaduna Central and Kadina North respectively, Uba Sani and Suleiman Abdul-Kwari.

READ ALSO: Umahi To Ebonyi Youths: Remove Your Minds From Politics, Succeed First

The Governor after taking the vaccine told journalists that the vaccine has no side effects on him and encouraged everyone to take it.

Kaduna Deputy Governor, Hadiza Balarabe receiving the vaccine.

 

He also disclosed that in administering the COVID-19 vaccines in Kaduna State,  priority will be given to frontline health workers,  teachers, and senior citizens.

The governor expressed hope that all citizens of the state would have been vaccinated by the end of next year.

According to the governor, the emergence of the vaccine does not signal the end of observing the COVID-19 safety protocols in the state.

El-Rufai stressed that mask-wearing and social distancing will continue until everybody is vaccinated.

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.

READ ALSO: Akwa Ibom Govt Transfers Alleged Student Molestation Case To Police

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.