Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has commended his Niger State counterpart, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello for sustaining close collaboration against banditry activities within the boundaries of the two states.
In a press release by Mary Noel-Berje, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Niger state, El-Rufai, who was in Minna on a private visit to condole with the government and the people of the state over the recent demise of some prominent citizens of the state, said the two states have been collaborating closely with each other and share common security platform where information and intelligence are exchanged to help in fighting the bandits.
“Fighting these bandits have remained a serious challenge to us. But I want to commend Bello and his team for the close collaboration enjoyed with Kaduna State. I think if we have similar collaboration with other states, maybe things would have been better”, he stated.
The Governor, however, expressed confidence that these banditries and other high-level criminal tendencies will soon come to an end with the renewed, sustained efforts by the security agencies in the affected states.
He acknowledged that Informants have played a major role in the unsuccessful attempt to completely eliminate the bandits and enjoined religious, traditional and community leaders to preach against their activities as well as the need for people to share intelligence discreetly with the government about these informants so that the security agents can deal with them.
“I think this is where our National and State Legislators, Local Government Chairmen and Councillors, traditional and community leaders, who are closer to the people, can be of great help to the security architecture if they discreetly share intelligence with the government”, he added.
El-Rufai noted that the problem of insurgency and banditry have been around for a while and that Bello and himself have, for more than two years, presented what they felt was the solution to the problem of insurgency and banditry in their respective states.
He advised the newly appointed Service Chiefs to look at what has been recommended and what has been started by their predecessors and sustain them adding that, in the last few months, the Nigeria Army, Air force and other security agencies have been very proactive in fighting banditry.
“So, what the new Service Chiefs need to do is to build on the existing foundations and do better. Whenever you have new people, they come with renewed vigour and the focus to make a difference. So, we hope that things will be even better”, he said.
El-Rufai explained that, although many people may be quick to criticize the outgoing service Chiefs, “those of us that deal with them directly, those of us that have to call them at 1:00 am to say that there are bandits in this area and a plane takes-off in fifteen minutes to go to that area, know that they also worked very hard and they were not sleeping”.
Bello on his part assured that government will not rest on it oars at ensuring that the fight against banditry is brought an end.