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Arming Amotekun is a simplistic way of tackling banditry, says El-Rufai

  Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says local security outfits and vigilantes do not possess the necessary firearms to fight bandit...

 


Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says local security outfits and vigilantes do not possess the necessary firearms to fight bandits.

 

The governor said security outfits such as the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, “are not up to scratch” to face bandits.

 

On September 22, Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, notified the federal government of his intention to procure arms for operatives of Amotekun.

 

Commenting on Thursday, while speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, el-Rufai described the Ondo’s governor’s plan as a simplistic approach to combating bandits.

 

He said the vigilantes are no match for the “sophisticated” non-state actors.

 

“Local security networks can only provide local intelligence. They do not have the firearms to face these guys [bandits],” he said.

 

“These guys sometimes even rout the military. So, people are speaking simplistically when they say ‘I want to get an AK-47 for my Amotekun. You don’t know what you’re dealing with.

 

 “We know. These guys are very well-armed. They are getting arms that are sophisticated. Sometimes they outgun the military.

 

“Those vigilantes are not up to scratch.”

 

‘KADUNA SAFER IN LAST SIX WEEKS’

 

The governor said there have been positive changes in the security of the state over the past six weeks.

 

Kaduna is one of the north-west states targeted by bandits, recording many cases of kidnappings and killings in the last few years.

 

El-Rufai said the latest tactics deployed by the military are reducing the level of attacks in the state.

 

The governor said Kaduna would be safer if the methods currently being used had been put in place a few years ago.

 

“I’m happy to say in the last six weeks, there has been a change because the military has now deployed special forces here,” he said.

 

 “And they have taken the bandits out. The air force is bombing them. All the things that we asked for two to three years ago are now happening.

 

“If that had been done three years ago, we’d be in a completely different environment. Because three years ago, they were much fewer in numbers, we knew their camps, we knew everything about them.”

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