Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai says his administration’s intention is to kill all bandits.
He spoke to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the recent bandit attack that claimed 40 lives in the state.
The governor, accompanied by the State Commissioner for Internal Security, Samuel Aruwan, said the bandits ‘whereabouts was not hidden, but that the military was mindful of the collateral damage it could cause the civilian community.
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According to him, if the security forces cannot go to the bandits’ location, the state is helpless.
El-Rufai said he requested Buhari’s intervention for the deployment of more security forces and a comprehensive operation.
He urged the security agencies to carry out aggressive operations against the terrorists, stressing the need for recruitment to be ramped up in the military and the police as the few numbers cannot successfully carry out operations in the 36 states of the federation.
Asked about his position on repentant bandits, he said: “There’s nothing like repentant terrorists. The only repentant bandit is the one that is dead. Our intention in the state is to kill them (terrorists), let them go and see God.”
He said the recent declaration of bandits as terrorists by the court had given the military more power to wage war against them.
Meanwhile, a security and intelligence expert, Kabiru Adamu, in a telephone chat with Daily Trust, described El-Rufai’s call for bandits’ killing as “unfortunate”, saying a society guided by laws should not encourage killing of offenders before their arrest and prosecution.
Adamu said: “It’s unfortunate that such a statement is coming from someone who has sworn to protect the constitution. The constitution provides for how offenders shall be punished.
“As far as I know, it’s only a competent court of jurisdiction that can order the execution of anyone. So, for a governor to say that killing is the only solution, I think it’s quite unfortunate.
“When killing comes before arrest and prosecution, it’s not something that any democratic culture should encourage for the simple reason that we don’t want to take anybody’s life except if it’s absolutely necessary.”
“To that extent, I advise that our leaders, who are democratically elected, should avoid extra-judicial killings.
“If the security agents have any reason to carry out an operation, their first and most important priority is to arrest. Once they are arrested, they can subject those who they’ve arrested to our judicial processes.
“Let our courts be the ones to determine if that person is guilty, and whether the penalty should be death.”
By Muideen Olaniyi (Abuja), Maryam Ahmadu-Suka & Mohammaed I. Yaba (Kaduna)