The Nigerian Governors’ Forum has reached an agreement that bandits must be completely “wiped out” of the country, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said on Tuesday.
El-Rufai also charged security agencies to eliminate anyone found in the hideouts of bandits, adding that no inhabitant of forests were innocent.
He said so long as the bandits were being paid ransoms, kidnapping would remain a business, adding that the only option would be to ensure that they did not live.
The governor stated these during an event on ‘Financing Safe School’, which held in Abuja.
El-Rufai’s position had clashed with that of some northern governors, particularly Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, who advocated dialogue with bandits and amnesty.
But El-Rufai insisted that all the 36 state governors were all on the same page on “killing them all”.
He said, “Our position as governors and we are unanimous in this because we, the northern states’ governors, met with the President on this subject. Our unanimous position is to wipe out the bandits. Nobody living in that forest is innocent, and just kill them all. It is the only way to end this.
“We need the combination of air power, and we need troops on the ground augmented by local expertise and knowledge. We need just one, two, three months’ operation to just try to kill all the bandits.”
The Kaduna State governor, however, said there had been a decline in the operation of bandits across the northern parts of the country due to the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force.