Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, raised alarm on Thursday about the presence of Boko Haram and Ansaru terrorists in the state’s two Kaduna councils – Birnin-Gwari and Giwa local government areas.
At the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House in Kaduna, the governor revealed this while receiving the 2022 First Quarter Security Report.
Between January and March 2022, 360 people were slain in the state by bandits, terrorists, or communal violence, according to a report submitted by the state Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan.
The governor explained that one of the kidnap victims, a roommate at the university, told him that the terrorists in one of their conversations, said the “forest in Kaduna is better than that of Sambisa so they should all relocate here.”
The governor said, “It is unfortunate that in spite 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.
“This presentation 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 Government.
“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.”
El-Rufai also expressed concern that the terrorists had gone expertise in bomb-making, saying that this “because Boko Haram and Ansaru elements have moved into the state.”
“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. This is still a major concern. Because this shows very clearly the movement from banditry to terrorism with expertise in making explosive devices. Again this is because Boko Haram and Ansaru elements have moved into the state,” he added.
Terrorist groups’ presence in the North-West, in particular, is possibly more significant and dangerous than in the North-East, prompting the military and other security authorities to take notice.
With the existence of these terror groups, El-Rufai observed that the problem of insecurity has shifted from the Northeast to the Northwest.
The Governor also dismissed the concept of cleansing three communities in the Kachia Local Government Area of the state, namely Rijana, Katari, and Akilibu, for their alleged involvement in kidnapping cases along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway over the years.
He also stated that the Kaduna State Vigilance Service would soon receive authorisation for the recruitment of an extra 1000 employees to supplement the efforts of the military, police, and other security agencies in the state’s war against terrorism.
“From what we’ve seen, the security agencies are overburdened,” El-Rufai said. “I believe the 1,000 volunteers we trained have been very useful in assisting the Army, the Police, and other security agencies, and perhaps now is the time to recruit another 1,000 and send them to Police College for training.”