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El Rufai Confirms Presence Of Ansaru Terrorist Group In Two LGAs

The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has expressed concern over the existence of Boko Haram and Ansaru terrorist enclaves, particularly in Birnin-Gwari and Chikun Local Government Areas of the state.
The governor expressed the concern on Thursday while receiving the first quarter security report at the Government House, Kaduna.

El-Rufai said the problem of insecurity has shifted from the North-east to the North-west, adding that what is happening in the North-west is far more serious and potentially more dangerous than in the North-east.
He appealed to the military and other security agencies to take notice of the situation before it gets out of control.

The report presented by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, indicated that from January to March 2023, a total of 360 people were killed, while 1,389 others were abducted by terrorists across the state.

Birnin Gwari and Chickun LGA, both in Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone of the state, topped the list of areas worst affected by activities of terrorists.

Aruwan said the interaction between Boko Haram, ISWAP and Ansaru had been established, as evidenced by the deadly attack on the Abuja-Kaduna AK9 train on March 28, 2022.

El-Rufai said: “It is unfortunate that inspite of our investment in human, material and other resources to stem the tide of criminality in the state, the levels are still a source of concern.”

He said the security report “has brought out new emerging concerns that I will want the security council to take note of and discuss and maybe to proffer some suggestions.

“The first great concern is the emergence of Boko Haram terrorists enclave, as well as activities of Ansaru particularly in Birnin-Gwari and Chikun Local Governments”.

The governor said: “Among those kidnapped from the train was a former roommate and classmate of mine who was released upon payment of a ransom and throughout the period that he was in captivity, it was very clear that the terrorists were making comments like the forests in Kaduna are even better than Sambisa, so, they should all relocate here.

“I think this is an area we should all be concerned about. And that is why we have been making the point that the problem of insecurity now has moved from the North-east to the North-west.

“What is happening in North-west is far more serious and potentially more dangerous than we have ever had in the North-east and we will like the military and other security agencies to take notice of this before it gets out of control.

“The second, which is related to the first, is the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (EIDs) and mines in the state.

“We have been lucky. Thanks to the police, we have been able to defuse most of them without causing major loss of lives.”

El-Rufai said this is still a major concern, because “it shows very clearly the movement from banditry to terrorism with expertise in making explosive devices”.

He lamented the high rate of drug abuse in the state and called for urgent action to curb the trend.

“I think we should give KASUPDA a clear directive that any building housing any patent medicine selling these drugs should be acquired by the government and demolished.

“This will be a deterrent to those that give these people the wherewithal to poison our young people.

“We have to take this action because it is related to banditry and all forms of criminalities, drugs play a major role. We must cut the supply chain of drugs to the bandits,” the governor said.

Speaking further, he said action should be taken on the communities that are constantly mentioned in criminal acts along the Abuja- Kaduna road.

According to him, “I noticed in the report the continuous mention of Rijana, Kateri and Akilibu axis (along Kaduna- Abuja highway) in all these crimes, particularly as regards the safety or lack of it.

“We have been exploring what to do about these three communities, whether to relocate them to bear Kagarko, whether to clear the three communities. I will like the security council to deliberate on it and look at the options, because it is very clear that there are higher levels of informants and criminals in these locations, because why is it that anytime there is attack or any form of kidnapping in the road, it happens around these three axis and nothing ever happens on the Kagarko axis?

“There is something wrong with the Rijana, Katari axis and government should not refuse to do anything.

We have to look at the options including the clearance of the settlements completely and relocation of the people to where other more honest people can watch them.”

The governor noted that the security agencies are overstretched and recruitment of vigilante needs to be ramped up.

“I think the 1,000 (vigilante) we trained have been very useful in assisting the army, the police and other security agencies and perhaps this is the time to get another 1,000 and send them to Police College for training.

“We have already bought weapons that are with the Commissioner of Police but we need more men and women,” the governor said.

Speaking further, he said he would like too see resumption of flights at the Kaduna International Airport.

Flight operations at the airport was suspended following terrorist attacks in March.

“We are grateful to the Defence Headquarters for enabling the establishment of the NDA Demonstration Battalion.

“I will like to appeal to the Air Force whose area of responsibility includes the Kaduna Airport to also have some kind of permanent deployment at the airport to secure it so that flight can resume,” he said.

The report, according to Aruwan, is the statistics of security incidents in the state in the first quarter of 2022, as well as efforts sustained by the Kaduna State Government towards containing security threats.

The commissioner said the statistics presented were generated from reports of security agencies – the military (the Army, Navy and Air Force), police, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kaduna State Vigilance Service (KADVS) — community leaders (ward heads district heads, chiefdoms and emirates) and credible human intelligence networks.
He said the report covers banditry and terrorism, kidnapping, rape perpetrated by bandits, cattle rustling, communal and inter-ethnic clashes, violent attacks
and reprisals.

Aruwan said 360 persons died between January and March 2022 in attacks by bandits/terrorists, communal clashes, violent attacks and reprisals.

He said: “1,389 people were kidnapped in the first quarter, with Kaduna Central Senatorial District accounting for 1,083.”

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