Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said forests in northern Nigeria should be carpet-bombed to end banditry in the region.
”I’ve always believed that you know, we should carpet-bomb the forests; we can replant the trees after. Let’s carpet-bomb the forests and bomb all of them,” El-Rufai said in an interview with Arise TV.
“There will be collateral damage, but it’s better to wipe them (bandits) out and get people back to our communities so that agriculture and rural economics can pick up,” he added
The Kaduna State governor said more investment in security personnel, technology and military equipment will wipe out bandits “once and for all”.
l-Rufai attributed the prolonged inability of security operatives to curb banditry in the Northwest to a lack of encouraging factors.
He said the military and other security agencies “are doing their best, but they are overstretched” and advised a more strategic approach to the fight against them.
“These bandits operate in the periphery because their hiding place is in the forest. It’s a major problem,” El-Rufai said.
“The reality is we don’t have enough boots on the ground to address the myriad of security challenges that we face, and these security challenges are asymmetric, widespread, and there’s no part of Nigeria that doesn’t have one security problem or the other,” he added.
A notorious bandit leader, Bello Turji, yesterday freed over 50 kidnapped victims in his custody in Zamfara State, following military raids on neighbouring bandit camps in Zamfara and Sokoto forests.
The Co-Chairman of the State Committee on Finding Lasting Solutions to Banditry, Dr. Abdullahi Shinkafi, confirmed the development of Channels Television.
Shinkafi noted that the released victims were about 70, adding that the notorious bandit kingpin released them ‘unconditionally’.
According to the police, arrangements are being made to evacuate all freed victims to the state capital, Gusau for profiling and medical treatment before they are released to their families.