El-Rufai, Tambuwal, Buni call for collective action to end banditry — Nairalovers

By Duku Joel, Damaturu And Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal, on Tuesday called for a collective action to end banditry.

Also, former Senate President Bukola Saraki advised President Muhammadu Buhari to seek adequate domestic and foreign assistance to tackle insecurity.

He said terrorism, banditry and kidnapping underscored the breakdown of law and order in many parts of the country.

Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni held a security meeting at the Government House, Damaturu, over the prolonged attack on Geidam by Boko Haram insurgents for almost three days.

El-Rufai and Tambuwal reflected on the security situation, when the Kaduna governor visited Sokoto to commiserate with him over the death of Hajiya Aishatu, daughter of the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.

The two governors stressed the need for states to cooperate in tackling banditry and kidnapping.

In a statement by Tambuwal’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Malam Muhammad Bello, El-Rufa’i commended Tambuwal’s commitment to the pursuit of peace and security, especially in the Northwest.

He said Northwest governors have been working closely with President Muhammad Buhari to end banditry and kidnapping in the zone.

According to El-Rufai, the Sokoto governor’s role in tackling banditry has been fraternal and unbiased.

He said: “I want to express my appreciation to Governor Tambuwal for cooperating with us in a totally, brotherly and non-partisan manner to bring the whole of the Northwest together. May Allah reward you with His blessings.”

El-Rufa’i expressed concern over the rising cases of kidnapping and banditry in the zone and its effect on the people.

He said: “There is concern on the sufferings that people face, as they have been going through difficulties because of these attacks occasioned by bandits.

“From Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and parts of Kebbi and Niger states, our people have been going through trials and tribulations arising from the activities of bandits.

“As governors, we have been meeting, putting our heads together to do the best we can. The last meeting we had was last Thursday with the President.

“We expressed our concerns and came up with a critical road map to end this banditry in our region once and for all.”

Tambuwal said the security challenge in the zone is worrisome, adding that it is “a great source of concern to all of us.”

Tambuwal said the murder of a Divisional Police Officer and eight policemen in Kebbi on Monday, and the recent attack on people in Dange local government area of Sokoto state, where lives were lost.

He added: “We must all put our hands on deck to ensure that we nip this thing in the bud. As you rightly said, we have been working together and collaborating. There’s no issue of party. Our security and development has nothing to do with party. It is all about the people that we represent.

“I have always said there should not be politics in development and dealing with security issues.

“We must remain one to confront the bad elements among us. They came together to fight us, so we must come together to fight them.”

The security meeting chaired by Buni was attended by security chiefs in the state, including the police commissioner, the Commander sector II Operation Lafiya Dole, the State Director of the DSS, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp.

The deputy governor, the Speaker of the House of Assembly and some members of the State Executive Council were also in attendance.

Buni urged the people to support the security personnel in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists by volunteering useful information.

He urged them to expose the bad eggs in the community, even if they are their biological children.

Buni said: “Let me draw our attention to the citizenship responsibility and the roles expected of us in the fight against insecurity. It is a collective fight and responsibility that we must be involved. We all have roles to play to support the security forces to succeed.

“As leaders and citizens in our respective communities, we must volunteer credible and timely information to the security agencies to enhance proactive action in curbing the menace and havoc caused by the terrorists.

“We must expose every bad egg in our communities, even if they are our relations or biological children. It is our responsibility to report suspicious movements in or near our communities. We cannot keep blaming government and security agencies while people hoard valuable information.”

The governor disclosed that during his meeting with the Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, far reaching decisions that will bring about peace were taken.

Buni said: “I met with the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Leo Irabor, and discussed security issues, including special approach to the fight against insurgency in Geidam because of its geographical location, closeness to the Lake Chad Basin and bordering Niger Republic and Damasak in Borno State, one of the areas  heavily infiltrated by Boko Haram insurgents.

“I am pleased to state that far reaching decisions were achieved at the meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, especially on reinforcement of personnel and improved strategy to effectively combat the attacks.

Saraki urged President Buhari to seek help in tackling the worsening insecurity.

In a statement yesterday, he said the President and the All Progressives Congress (APC) government needed help.

He said: “They have been overwhelmed by the situation and they need assistance from all. Thus, I urge Mr. President to seek help wherever it can be given.

“This matter has gone beyond what the government can handle alone. The President should know that calling for help in our present situation is not a sign of weakness.”

The former Senate President reiterated his earlier call to President Buhari to bring together all former Presidents and Heads of State, serving and former Chief Justices, and serving and former presiding officers of the National Assembly.

He advised the President to also consult with traditional rulers, private sector leaders, and the international community.

He added: “Even those of us in the opposition party recognise the fact we can only exist if we continue to have a country. Thus, we are willing to cooperate with the government in finding solutions to this problem.

“Our former leaders, I am sure, are ready, willing, and able to assist the government with their wealth of experience. With their active role in combating the COVID-19 crisis, even the private sector has shown that if called upon, at any time and on any issue, it is ready to help solve this crisis.

“Our friends in the international community have also demonstrated their willingness to help us out”.

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