Earlier this year, renowned Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi embarked on a campaign to end bandits terrorism in the North. After meeting some of them, he urged the government to negotiate with the bandits and grant them amnesty and empowerment. The Governor of Kaduna state disagreed with him, that government is at war with bandits and would not negotiate with them, nor grant them amnesty if they repent emphasizing that they would never repent.
Images: Daily Post Nigeria
El-Rufai made the statement in a report by Daily Trust on 6 February 2021. Shortly after that, Niger State (whose governor is one of two North-West governors El-Rufai revealed are not considering negotiating with bandits), was attacked by bandits who abducted motorists and students. The turn of Kaduna came in early March, first a primary school in Birnin Gwari and a tertiary institution in Kaduna town whose students (36 in number) are still in captivity.
The student of Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in captivity (Image: Sahara Reporters)
If the bandits' attack on Kaduna was as a response to Governor Nasir El-Rufai's statement, the governor is yet to react decisively about the incident. The student remains in captivity and if El-Rufai insists he will never negotiate with the bandits he has a responsibility of rescuing them. But can he?
Entrance to the school
To rescue this student, governor Nasir el-Rufai must negotiate their release from captivity (Images: Daily Post Nigeria)
As the Chief Security Officer of the State, Nasir El-Rufai has the responsibility of securing the state and making it safe for citizens to go about their daily activities. But the governor has no control or command over any armed forces, that is the power of the President of Nigeria. Even with Federal might, citizens who have been captured before by terrorists and bandits most were released after negotiation with the abductors whereby they are paid the ransom. No abductor has been arrested and prosecuted so far! Even the Niger State governor had to abandon his defiance and sought negotiation with the bandits for the release of his people. El-Rufai should do the same.
His intention is good but he doesn't have the power to back up his intention, he Is powerless and no match for the bandits. Thirty-six students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization remain with the bandits weeks after they were abducted from their hostels at night. El-Rufai cannot go after the bandits, fight them and rescue the student. He can't do that, meanwhile, the bandits could execute all the students and disappear and would be difficult to arrest. And with the level of insecurity in the nation, they could repeat it. Government is helpless, if negotiating with the bandits is what will take to rescue the students, El-Eufai must be negotiated with the bandits now.
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