The Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, on Wednesday, warned that bandits could take advantage of the transition period to launch bloody attacks in the country.
He, therefore, advised that security operations against bandits should be increased in the remaining days of the current administration and beyond.
El-Rufai spoke during the presentation of a security report by the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna, the state capital on Wednesday.
The reviewed 2022 annual and first quarter 2023 security reports indicated that 1,266 and 4,973 persons were killed and kidnapped respectively in 15 months.
The tenure of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), and 17 governors will come to an end in less than 40 days.
However, there have been increased attacks by suspected terrorists and bandits in Benue, Zamfara, and Niger since after the general elections.
In the past weeks, no fewer than 75 persons, including internally displaced persons had been murdered in different communities by armed herdsmen in Benue State.
Also in Zamfara in March, bandits attacked the headquarters of the Maru Local Government, killing a divisional police officer and two others.
Scores of people including security operatives had equally been killed across several communities in Niger State by suspected bandits.
Speaking on the security reports presented by the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, El-Rufai called for sustained simultaneous ground and air kinetic actions across the seven frontline states of the North-West zone and Niger which had contiguous forest ranges and is most heavily impacted by the security challenge.
He said the operation was to prevent a dangerous lull during the transition period at the federal level which the criminal outlaws could exploit.
The governor observed that the reports on the security situation in the state provided detailed data on the persistence of the security challenges in the state.
El-Rufai said, “Though grim, these reports are published in fulfillment of the obligation of transparency that the government owes the residents of this state.
“Just as they have a right to updates on the progress in investments, revenue generation, and other happy events, citizens have legitimate expectations to be provided with consistently accurate accounts of what is going on and on the measures being taken to address security challenges.
“The two reports just presented by Samuel Aruwan, our Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, indicate the persistence of security challenges, including terrorism, banditry, and the unfortunate toll in killings, kidnappings, injuries, and threats to the livelihoods of our people.
“We regret the pain and losses, pray for the repose of the souls of those killed, pay tribute to the victims of various crimes, and reiterate our solidarity with them.’’