Insecurity In N’West May Impact 2023 Election, Census – El-Rufa’i Warns

Kaduna State Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i has warned that the insurgency in the North-West is not only more serious than what exists now in the North-East but also presents a clear danger to the 2023 general elections and census if not nipped in the bud.

The Governor, therefore, reiterated his appeal for a North-West Theatre Command which will enable a holistic approach to counter-insurgency operations across the affected states.

He also said that the proposed Theatre Command will enhance the ‘’coordination of the resources of the Armed Forces, the Police, the DSS, our respective State vigilance services, hunters and other local volunteers to fight the insurgents.”

The governor spoke at the presentation of the state’s security reports for the second and third quarters of 2022, held at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, yesterday.

While justifying the presentation of the security reports, El Rufai noted that ‘’we publish these reports in fulfilment of our obligation to the residents of this state.

‘’Citizens have legitimate expectations to be provided with consistently accurate accounts of what is going on and to be updated on the measures being taken to address the security challenge,” he said.

The governor, who lamented that the security report still shows that killings, kidnappings, injuries and threats to livelihoods have continued, prayed for the repose of the souls of those killed, and paid tributes to the victims of various crimes.

He, however, stated that ‘’figures show a pattern of reductions in the gravity of security incidents in the second and third quarters of 2022, compared to the first quarter.’

According to him, ‘’this is a consequence of the intensification of offensive security operations against the bandits in recent months.”

The governor noted that ‘’we have for years called for a comprehensive and sustained assertion of the prerogatives of the state, through combined air and ground military and police operations.”

‘’This is the most effective way to protect our people, uphold law and order and enhance the ability of our people to the peaceful pursuit of their livelihoods,” he said.

While thanking the federal government for finally authorising the launch of these military and police offensives, El Rufai stressed that the geopolitical zone ‘’ requires a comprehensive and consistent sweep, across the Northwest and Niger states for sustained success.”

He said that the North West and Niger state launched security operations with the Federal Government in 2015/2016.

‘’The initial success that operation recorded in the Kamuku-Kuyambana forest ranges was not consolidated through continuous operations, and the criminal elements were thus able to recover, regroup and resume,” he pointed out.

El Rufai promised that ‘’the Kaduna State Government will continue to do everything within the powers of a state to enhance security.”

‘’We have invested considerable resources and energy in managing security to the extent that the constitution permits a subnational.

‘’Our interventions since 2015 include supporting the federal security agencies deployed in our state with vehicles and other logistics, collaborating with other frontline states to fund military operations in the 2015-2016 period and investments in security infrastructure and technology,” he added.

According to the governor, ‘’the extent of interventions in security by the state government can do is constitutionally limited.”

‘’The Federal Government has to more vigorously exercise its constitutional powers and urgently spearhead a national effort to strengthen our security forces,” he advised.

El Rufai further counselled that ‘’the Federal Government has to sustain the effort to promptly address the needs of the DSS, military and police for modern technology, advanced armaments, equipment and more boots on the ground. ‘’

He expressed the government’s ‘’sincere gratitude to our Emirs and Chiefs for being the leading and influential anchors of peaceful coexistence and intelligence-gathering in our various communities.”

‘’Our Peace Commissioners and the House of Kaduna Family deserve exceptional recognition and our gratitude for their efforts in peacemaking and peace-building,” he added.

The governor also responded to some of the issues raised by senior military, police and security officers and the members of the Security Council at the presentation.

On political thuggery, he suggested that ‘’we need to profile political actors, map their thugs and bring them to justice immediately.”

“Those engaged in propagating injurious falsehood and incitement need to be vigorously prosecuted,” he said, adding that ‘’the case of the Birnin Gwari lynching and the statement that followed needs to be followed with prosecution and conviction.”

The governor noted that the need for Ladugga 24 villages, to have a District Head will be looked at by the ministry responsible for chieftain matters, and make recommendations for consideration.

El Rufai also urged community leaders and monarchs to intensify efforts at identifying informants, black spots for the sale of drugs, and those that destroy critical infrastructure.

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