Governor Nasir-El-Eufai of Kaduna State has alleged that bandits in the state are trying to blackmail the state government with killings of students.
In a statement on Tuesday, the governor’s Media Adviser, Muyiwa Adekeye, condemned the recent killings of some students of tertiary institutions abducted by bandits in the state.
Adekeye asserted that the ruthless resort of the kidnappers to murdering young persons is part of their effort to blackmail the government.
He added that the bandits were also engaging in such an action to compel the government to abandon its ‘no ransom, no negotiation’ policy.
He said: “The Kaduna State Government has been consistently transparent about its security challenges. It has supported and continues to resource the security agencies in the state.
“We are engaging the Federal Government to have security responses that move away from the reactive response of repelling bandits towards a comprehensive, proactive offensive that takes the battle to the criminals and uproots them.
“As a sub-national, with no direct control of any of the security agencies, we cannot make this task more difficult by giving criminals the resources to acquire more arms.
“KDSG regrets the recent kidnaps and killings of students from tertiary institutions in our state, and we sympathise with their families with whom we share the aim of the safe return of all the students.
“We mourn the dead students, and we offer our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
“The ruthless and heartless resort of the kidnappers to murdering these young persons is part of their effort to further their blackmail and compel us to abandon our ‘no-ransom, no negotiation policy.
“Are people bothering with the consequences of state surrender to hoodlums, or is the continued politicization of security challenges not going to make all of us ultimately victims of the insurgents?
“The fact that criminals seek to hold us by the jugular does not mean we should surrender and create an incentive for more crime.
“In today’s Nigeria, it has become fashionable to treat the unlawful demands of bandits as worthy of consideration and to lampoon people who insist that outlaws should be crushed and not mollycoddled or availed the resources, they can use to unleash further outrages.”
He also reacted to a viral video of an interview of Governor Nasir El-Rufai in 2014 and faulted those blaming his principal for his stance on the security situation in the state.
In the video, the governor had called on the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan to use all options, including negotiation, to rescue the Chibok girls who were abducted in Borno State.
In his defence, Adekeye explained that the nation’s journey since the Chibok tragedy has proven that the solution to violent crimes was a robust response from the state and its coercive agencies.
He decried the trend of treating the demands of bandits as worthy of consideration and ridiculing those who have insisted that outlaws should be crushed.
He said: “Amidst the violence unleashed by criminal elements on the people of Kaduna State, some commentators have responded by blaming KDSG for asserting that the duty of the state is to uphold the law and not to reward hoodlums for violating the lives, property, and liberties of citizens.
“Those pushing that kind of narrative are sharing a video clip of a 2014 interview in which Malam Nasir El-Rufai called on the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to use all options, including negotiation, to rescue the Chibok girls.
“The years since 2014 may have led some people to forget the denial and doubt that defined the FG’s response to the Chibok abductions, especially the initial refusal to acknowledge that it happened. That was the context under which civic pressures were brought on the government.
“Nigeria’s journey since the 2014 Chibok tragedy has proven that the solution to violent crimes, including terrorism and banditry, is a robust response from the state and its coercive agencies.
“The quantum of money paid as ransom following many negotiations with bandits have not stopped kidnappings, reduced their frequency, or deterred the criminals.
“The experience of many states in the Northwest of Nigeria since 2015 has included cattle rustling, kidnappings, killings, and the devastation of communities by criminals.
“Several states sought to negotiate their way out of the problems by talking to bandits, paying them money, or offering them amnesty.
“This has not worked and has only encouraged the criminals to press ahead for a surrender of the public treasury to them. That is clearly not in the public interest.
“Mass abduction was like in novelty in 2014. But the facts have changed since then. Negotiations and ransoms have been undertaken, but these have not stopped the criminals.
“It has only encouraged them. It is only prudent to review one’s position when the facts change, and the suggestion made by a citizen years ago cannot be taken as the immutable answer to a serious problem that has evolved since 2014, no matter the viral replays of the said video clip.“