Kebbi abduction portends danger to North West region, says El-Rufai
Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said that the abduction of school children in Kebbi State portends serious danger to the entire North West region.
He made the comment in Birnin Kebbi, yesterday, when he paid a sympathy visit to Governor Atiku Bagudu over the abduction of students of Federal Government College (FGC), Birnin Yauri, in Ngaski Local Government Area.
“We were very happy that the problems of banditry and kidnapping of school children and other forms of criminality that for many years afflicted states like Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and even Kaduna, have eluded Kebbi State and we were relieved.
“Kebbi was an Island of peace in a sea of banditry, and we were, therefore, very disturbed in Kaduna State when last week we learnt about the unfortunate abduction of school children in the state. It portends a serious danger to the entire peace of the Northwest region,” he said.
El-Rufai also expressed worry over the cases of violence affecting farmers and agriculture in Kebbi which he said had become the centre of rice production that all Nigerians need.
“I am here to commiserate with you, the government and people of Kebbi State over the unfortunate incident. In Kaduna State, we have been experiencing this for sometime and confronting the problem. We have been doing the best we could to manage it with the active support and collaboration from the federal security agencies.
“It is about all we can do; we have no full control over the army, the police or the air force. They have been doing their best in their circumstances to support us, but we all need to do more and we all have to come back home and develop home-grown solutions with the active participation of our people, our emirs and chiefs, community leaders and religious leaders to confront this monster,” he said.
El-Rufai expressed optimism that the problem would come to an end in the shortest possible time, saying the governors had been working together to tame criminalities in the region.
Governor Bagudu commended El-Rufai for the visit and his efforts at stamping out criminality in the northern region. Bagudu recalled that since El-Rufai has championed series of meetings and joint coordination of seven northern states, the measures have reduced the level of criminality in the areas.
“When the attack took place last week, there were 22 policemen in the school. Some of the abducted students have been rescued by security personnel who have been very active and putting in their best and supported by vigilantes and community members that have put vigorous challenge to the abductors.
“Last week, when I visited the school after the incident, I met a set of parents who were appreciative of the efforts of the security agencies and the school authorities.
“The incident of this nature is really not a state problem, especially the one involving children who represent our future. It is an affront on our future, and whether it happens in Kaduna or Kebbi, it is the same tragic. It should not be allowed to intimidate the people or the governments,” the governor said.