By Hussaina Yakubu
Gov. Nasir El Rufai on Wednesday received the Kaduna State 2020 Annual Security Report, in which 937 people were said to have been killed by bandits and 1,972 kidnapped within the period.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, presented the report at a ceremony in Kaduna.
According to Aruwan, victims of the kidnapping, banditry and other criminal activities cut across all ethnic and religious groups in the state, contrary to skewed narratives from some quarters.
‘’Victims of criminal acts like banditry and kidnapping are to be found across ethnic, religious or political leanings and persuasions,’’ he pointed out.
The commissioner said the total number of deaths linked to banditry and other forms of violence in 2020 in the state was 937.
‘’Of this number, Igabi LG has the highest figure of 152, followed by Kajuru with a figure of 144.’’
He added that Birnin Gwari, Igabi, Giwa and Chikun local governments in Kaduna Central Senatorial District accounted for 468 of the deaths out of the 937 people that died in 2020, representing over 50% of the fatalities recorded in the state.
‘’The southern senatorial district accounts for 286 deaths, which is about one third of the total, due in large part to sporadic clashes, alongside banditry which triggered attacks and counter-attacks, especially between June and November 2020,’’ he added.
Aruwan further said, ‘’out of 1,972 people kidnapped in the period under review, Kaduna central senatorial district accounts for 1,561, and out of the total, 1,461 were kidnapped within Birnin Gwari, Igabi, Giwa and Chikun local government areas.’’
In his speech after receiving the report, El-Rufai said that state has been using its limited tools to address the security challenges.
The governor paid tribute to the victims of insecurity and reiterated his administration’s resolve to protect the people and stop all criminals.
El Rufai said the government has invested in technology to help secure the state, adding that ‘’a CCTV network is being deployed in Kaduna metropolis while options for consistent operations of its drones are being explored.’’
The governor added that the state had been collaborating with neighboring states to tackle the wave of insecurity.
‘’Together with Niger State and our neighbours in the North-west, we put together resources to fund military operations against bandits in the Kamuku-Kuyambana forest range that straddles the region.”
El Rufai however regretted that this collaboration which was done in 2015, ‘’was not sustained or expanded into a campaign of continuous, simultaneous operations against the bandits across our vast region.’’
‘’Failure to contain and defeat them in one place has emboldened them to develop a national footprint and endanger national cohesion,’’ he noted.
The governor also said that the state has been supporting federal security agencies with vehicles and other logistics since 2015, but added that “the military and police still need modern technology and equipment and more boots on the ground”.
‘’The security of our communities depend on the robust projection of state power, and that can only be done with sufficient security numbers to overawe and deter criminals,’’ he maintained.
The governor called for the decentralisation of policing, arguing that ‘’there are simply not enough police officers in Nigeria and the idea of policing such a vast, federal republic in a unitary manner is not pragmatic.”