Banditry in North-West taking shape of Boko Haram – El-Rufai

Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has described banditry as the scourge of the North-West comparable to what Boko Haram is to the North-East.

He made the assertion on Friday during a visit to the presidential villa, Abuja, saying that he would explore avenues to strengthen military operations in the geo-political zone.

The governor also observed that the COVID-19 pandemic had made it difficult to remember the first anniversary of the present administration, as the era has become a difficult one for the leadership.

According to him, the bandit attack in Sokoto State only hit the headlines just a few days ago, whereas the menace has been ongoing in Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Katsina states.

However, he noted that the zone had been battling it with the support of the military and expressed appreciation to the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Army and the Navy for coming to the aid of Kaduna State.

He said: “We’ve been dealing with this issue and our concern now is with the operations in Sokoto and Zamfara states. Many of the bandits will move to Kaduna, this is part of the reasons I’m here, I’ll be meeting with the Minister of Defence and the service chiefs to try to get more military activities, some operations to be strengthened.

“I must say that they’ve been doing very well, they’ve supported us, but this banditry is a big problem. It’s going to affect agriculture unless it is dealt with and I believe that it will be dealt with.

“The Chief of Air Staff has assured me that whatever that will needed to be done to wipe out the bandits, to enable our farmers to go to farm as the rains advance, will be done. We are confident that things will get better.

“It’s most unfortunate that we’ve had to deal with it in the North-West in the same way that Boko Haram ravaged the North-East, these bandits are also becoming a serious problem in the northwest, but the problem is being addressed.”

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