El-Rufai calls for establishment of Theatre Command in Northwest as bandits kill 1,192 abduct 3,348 in Kaduna in 2021

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The Kaduna state governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has called for the establishment of a Theatre Command in the northwest to tackle security challenges in the region.
The governor spoke while receiving the 2021 annual security reports presented by the commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Tuesday at the Government House, Kaduna.
According to the report,
a total of 1,192 people were killed while 3,348 others were kidnapped across the state in 2021.
In his remarks after receiving the report, the governor said no legitimate government can survive by tolerating terrorists or negotiating with those that menace law-abiding citizens.
He said any person that makes a conscious decision to secure arms, challenge the authority of the Nigerian state and threatens the lives and property of Nigerians does not deserve to live or be granted any concession by the society.
The governor urged the federal government to create a Theatre Command similar to the situation in the North-East to confront the insurgency that has emerged in five states of the North-West and Niger state.
He said, “the creation of such a Theatre Command will enable holistic approach to counter-insurgent operations across the six affected states and the enhanced coordination of the resources of the Armed Forces, the Police, the SSS, our respective State Vigilance Services, hunters and other local volunteers to fight the insurgents.”
El-Rufai called for urgent national effort to strengthen the security forces, stressing that
the military and police need modern technology, advanced armaments, equipment and more boots on the ground.
According to the governor, the security of communities depends on the robust projection of state power which can only be done with sufficient security personnel to subdue and deter criminals.
He said, “The prerogatives of the state need to be asserted, not merely proclaimed. The people we put in uniform must never be placed in avoidable danger, outgunned or outnumbered by non-state actors.
“It is when the terrorists are decimated that ‘soft’, non-kinetic peace building will gain traction…
“While the security agencies keep trying their best, the peacemakers on the ground should not be discouraged.
“Peace is worth every effort, despite the setbacks encountered.
“We continue to emphasise that as a state government, we do not believe that there is any phenomenon like ‘repentant bandits’.
“Any person that makes a conscious decision to secure arms, challenge the authority of the Nigerian state, and threatens the lives and property of Nigerians does not deserve to live, or be granted any concession by the society. “There are no immediate or remote causes to justify terrorist conduct.
“Those that hide behind these are either ethnic jingoists, religious apologists or fail to recognise that no legitimate government can survive by tolerating terrorists or negotiating with those that menace law-abiding citizens.”
The governor condemned the escalation of violence in Zangon-Kataf Chiefdom, which according to him, “appears to be rapidly spilling into the Chawai part of Kauru Local Government.”
“We condemn the disregard for human life and the violations of law that are fuelling the crisis. “We sympathise with the affected communities.
“This outbreak of violence is a serious challenge to the community level peace process initiated by His Highness, the Agwam of Zangon Kataf and community leaders in the area”, the governor said.
He said the security report contained hard data which reflect the pains inflicted on people across the state by criminals and outlaws. He said further that the report also provides background and an update on the steps being taken by the Kaduna State Government to manage the security challenges
“The report presented today shows that in 2021, and an average of 9 persons were kidnapped daily across Kaduna State, mostly in the Kaduna Central senatorial district. “There is also an escalation in the number of persons killed by a whopping 255 compared to those sadly killed by banditry and criminality in 2020 in spite of our best efforts in supporting the federal security agencies to bring an end to this phenomenon.
“As we digest these sad statistics, we pray for the repose of the souls of those killed, pay tribute to the victims of various crimes, reiterate our solidarity with them, and reaffirm our resolve to continue to protect our people, and stop the criminals…” El- Rufai said.
According to him, since 2015, the state government had supported the federal security agencies deployed to the state with vehicles and other logistics.
Earlier while presenting the report, Aruwan disclosed that a total of 1,192 people were killed while 3,348 others were kidnapped by bandits across the state in 2021.
Aruwan said 891 people also sustained varying degrees of injuries as result of bandits and communal attacks during the period.
He added that 45 women including 29 minors were raped in the state.
The commissioner said further that a total of 13,788 cattle were also rustled in 2021
According to the report,
Kaduna Central Senatorial District top the list of victims with 720 deaths while Southern Kaduna and Kaduna North Senatorial Districts recorded 406 and 66 deaths respectively.
Aruwan said Birnin Gwari and Chikun Local Government Areas in Kaduna Central Senatorial zone were worst hit by the bandits, recording 179 and 160 deaths respectively.
Similarly, he said 179 people were killed in Giwa LGA, Kaduna North Senatorial District recorded while Kajuru LGA in Kaduna Central District suffered “from a mix security challenges, recorded 44 deaths.”
Aruwan said “Stoked by the intermittent incidences of the banditry, the clashes between spilling out of Atyap Chiefdom as earlier highlighted, accounted for 186 deaths recorded in Zango-Kataf LGA, 59 in Kajuru LGA, 48 in Kaura and 33 in Jema’a LGA.
“The total number of deaths linked to banditry and other forms of violence in 2021 is 1,192. This comprised 1,038 men, 104 women and 50 minors”.
Giving the statistics on kidnapping, the commissioner said, “from 3,348 people kidnapped in 2021, Kaduna Central District accounts for 2,771 and of that number, 2,449 were kidnapped within Birnin Gwari, Igabi, Giwa and Chikun local government areas”.
He said the two LGAs in the Southern Kaduna Senatorial District, Kachia and Kagarko recorded the kidnap of 298 persons mainly on the highways traversing the areas.
He said the total numbers of of those kidnapped across the state in 2021, “985 were women and 340 were below the age of 18.”
He said the figures were likely to he higher, taking into consideration unreported cases.
Aruwan also said gunrunners were intercepted and arrested with the following arms and ammunition recovered: “2RPG tunes, 66AK47 rifles, 3AK49 rifles, 1AK103 rifle, 1G3 rifle, 1sub-Marine Gun, 10 pump action rifles, 4pistols, 16 Dane guns, 43 locally made firearms, 82 pump action cartridges, 41AK47 magazines, 9,657 rounds of live ammunition, 1 smoke grenade and 1 tazer.”

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