By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo 

Dissatisfied with an assertion credited to Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai of Kaduna State that forests inhabited by bandits be carpet-bombed, a social critic, Abubakar Atiku Nuhu Koko has said that doing so would cause serious damage to the environment and would take a long time to normalise. 

El-Rufai was quoted to have said  “I have always believed that we should carpet-bomb the forest; we can re-plant the trees after but, let’s carpet-bomb the forests, kill all of them. There will be collateral damage but it’s better to wipe them out and bring peace back to our communities so that agriculture and rural economies can pick up than to continue this touch and go, touch and go isolated responses to banditry”.

While justifying his call for the total annihilation of bandits in the state, the Governor said, ”They kill people in Sokoto, you mobilise the army there, and chase them out, they move to Kebbi, from Kebbi if they are bombed, they move to Kaduna. What should be done is to bomb them from the air, ground, troops on the ground at the same time in all five, six states of the North West plus Niger. And this problem can be sorted out in my view, in weeks. I believe the levels of insecurity now are at a tipping point and something is got to give. My hope is that what will give is the end of this banditry once and for all. It is a problem.”

However, Abubakar Atiku Nuhu Koko, in a statement, observed that  ” during the Vietnam War, after using Carpet bombing tactics and strategies, the Americans have failed or not succeeded in clearing the notorious Vietnam fighters well entrenched in the heavily thick Vietnam forests, they resorted to spraying the thick forests with a chemical product to defoliate the forests in order to clear and expose the thick forests for them to target bombed the hidden camps of the fighters.:

” But the Chemical Orange is also toxic to humans and the environment; resulting in monumental collateral damages to the innocent civilians, animals and the environment; including rivers and streams.”

He said carpet bombing “is equally very expensive that the Nigerian government cannot afford, plus the fact it is going to involve too much human and animal collateral damages and is very harmful to the environment.”

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