By Johnbosco Agbakwuru,ABUJA
GOVERNOR of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu has called on Nigerians to come together and tackle criminalities in the country.
Governor Bagudu made the call at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday night on the security situation in his State.
The governor had briefed President Buhari on the bandits’ attack on Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri and the efforts by the security agencies for rescuing some pupils and teachers.
He said the security agencies needed more support from all Nigerians to end the challenges of insecurity across the country.
Bagudu, who said the President restated his directive to security agencies to deal with criminal elements in the society, said more governors would mobilise against these “criminal elements” in the coming days with the action of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State.
According to him, “I visited Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari, to further brief him about the unfortunate incidents in Kebbi State, at the Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, where a number of bandits overwhelmed the security agencies and abducted a number of pupils, teaching staff and non-teaching staff and the regrettable loss of life by a police officer in the process and some pupils also and those who were wounded in the process, and those who are still in the hands of the terror gang even though some successes have been commendably achieved by the rescue of some pupils and teachers.
“I explained to him that the security agencies have mobilised and are doing a great job, assisted by the military, the Air Force, the police, civil defense, vigilante and community leaders.
“They are still at it and they’re doing a great job, but we need more support by all Nigerians and in fact all to ensure that we give them our maximum cooperation to finish what they have started.
“President has, as always, expressed sympathy to those innocent persons who are held hostage against their will by terror elements and he condemned the action of all terror groups, wherever they are, whether they are bandits, Boko Haram, or any group that is taking away the liberty and freedoms and, in fact, lives and livelihoods of others.
“He maintained the instruction he has always given to the security agencies to give their maximum best in dealing with those criminal elements.
‘Our stand, I have made it very clear this is condemnable, this should not happen and all people of goodwill, all good people should mobilise to confront evil and evil elements and criminal elements in our society.
“It’s not just a job for the security agencies, we have to support them. We have to mobilise.
“Since I made that statement, which I meant by every stretch of imagination, many groups have come out to demonstrate similar supports and yesterday we have seen mobilisation by the Niger State governor and I believe we’ll see more in the coming days.
“Nigerians should unite so that we confront criminality. Even yesterday, Fulani leaders in Kebbi State all visited Government House, Kebbi, even though I was not there to receive them, to condemn and to distance themselves from those renegade groups, or renegade criminal elements and offered to support in whatever role the security agencies will want them to play.”
Continuing, he said, “On Friday, I spent about three hours in the school where I met the very courageous parents and they are appreciative of the effort of the security agencies, particularly the police officers, who are providing security in the school and the principal and staff of the school and also what other security agencies are still doing in the field.
“While offering our sympathies to all those innocent young ones and teachers who are being held. They also appreciated that this thing requires unity of purpose by all Nigerians and that is what will show support to them in calling all governors and even without out calling them, they are eager to do it. But this is further a wake-up call to all of us.”