El Rufai wants KASU to be world-class varsity
Governor Nasir El-Rufai

…Says clerics can ask them to repent

…Says clerics can ask them to repent

By HassanWuyo

Despite repeated attacks and abduction of students, pupils and teachers in Kaduna State in the last one week, Governor Nasir el-Rufai talked tough yesterday, insisting he will not negotiate with bandits or kidnappers.

Recall that bandits had attacked Federal Government College of Forestry and Mechanisation, Ikara, where 39 students and their teachers were abducted, as the military rescued 180 others; Government Science Secondary School, Ikara, where the military also prevented the abduction of 307 students and Rema Primary School, Birnin-Gwari, where three teachers were taken away by bandits.

But speaking after an expanded meeting of the state security council at Council Chambers, Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, yesterday, Governor Nasir el-Rufai said his job as governor is to protect the people and prosecute those who committed offences.

Aside from security chiefs who attended the meeting, traditional rulers, religious leaders, professional associations, trade unions and civil society groups were also in attendance.

The governor said:  “We will not engage with bandits or kidnappers. Private citizens like clerics and clergy men can do so in their individual capacities, to preach to them and ask them to repent. We also want them to repent but it is not our job to ask them to do so.’’

According to him, the best way to solve the farmer-herder clashes, cattle rustling and banditry is for nomadic herdsmen to live more sedentary lives in order to be more productive and give their children education and access to better healthcare.

READ ALSO: Kaduna abduction: GOPRI backs Gov el-Rufai not to negotiate with bandits

The governor argued that nomadic cattle breeding or trans-humance  has been rendered obsolete by urbanization and population growth, noting that most of the cattle routes had been taken over by development.

He said the state government is building a big ranching project in Damau Grazing Reserve in Kubau Local Government Area, adding that the   project will make   about 1,500 herdsmen sedentary.

He further emphasized that the project would enable herders raise their cattle in a facility with pastures, a school and a primary health centre, with a commercial partner ready to buy their milk.

The governor commended the security agents for all their efforts to keep Kaduna State residents safe, in spite of the challenges they were facing.

El Rufai also called for decentralization of the police force, maintaining that Nigeria is the only federation that operates a unitary police force, funded but not controlled by state governments.

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