We’re considering hiring mercenaries to end terrorism- El-Rufai
Northwest states of Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto and the neighbouring Niger may resort to hiring mercenaries if the federal government fails to end the ongoing reign of terror within their territories speedily.
The Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufa’i, issued the threat on Friday while speaking with journalists in Hausa shortly after briefing the president on the recent killings in the state.
El-Rufa’I also said the devastating attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train last Tuesday, which claimed eight lives, would have been avoided if the federal government heeded his earlier warnings.
The governor also raised the alarm that the terrorists, with the sort of arrogance and boldness they have in operated with in recent times, could try to subdue to nation if the military fails to act proactively by storming their camps and hideouts in the forests and wipe them out once and for all.
El-Rufa’i, who maintained that security agencies, including the military, are aware of the locations and specific mappings of the terrorists, however, said President Buhari had assured that he would take required actions and the ongoing carnage would be caged in a matter of months.
Recalls that terrorists blew off a part of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line on Tuesday, leading to heavy armed attack on the passengers, crew members and security personnel on the train, among whom a yet-to-be ascertained number of persons were abducted.
The governor revealed that the attack on the train was carried out by Boko Haram elements, contrary to the belief that the terrorists were the same bandits known to have been terrorizing the entire Northwest in the last few years, adding that the attack was well planned over a long period.
Speaking about the possibility of forestalling the sort of attack that was seen last Tuesday, the governor said: “To us, this happened because we have consistently written letters to the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
“We wrote them twice to stop night trips because we had security report that Boko Haram had entered and they were planning to blow up the train. We wrote them twice but they didn’t listen.
“Secondly, the Air Force, in response to that security report, went and established a base at Katari, where helicopters can land and refuel, so that if anything happens, they can quickly respond.
“But that cannot work at night because some helicopters cannot even fly at night. That is why we advised the Federal Government that the night train should be stopped.
“We suggested that the last trip should leave Abuja by 4:00 pm so that they could arrive in Kaduna before night fall and same for last trip from Kaduna, but our advice was not taken.
“It took the security agents over an hour to get to the scene when the attack happened because it was night. It would have been faster in the afternoon.
“This attack shows that it is not the bandits that we are used to. These ones came prepared. They have planned this attack for long to the extent that they know the first class coach where they will get the big personalities.
“Therefore, this is a serious issue that we have been suggesting that, these forests where these people are, we should go there and bomb the forests for everyone in the forest to be killed. Honestly, if this is not done, this banditry in Niger, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi and Sokoto will not end.
“This thing can consume the entire Nigeria, because the way these people are getting money, the way they boast that they don’t fear authorities, they don’t fear military, I don’t know why up till now the Nigerian military will not enter these forests and deal with these people.
“Why do we always wait for them to strike before we go after them? Why can’t we go to where they are and kill them? We know where they are.
“We have the maps as the military know, the policemen know and everyone knows. DSS is giving us report every time: see where Dogo Gide is, see what he is planning.
“Why is it that up till now, the security have not gone to kill them? Where are our soldiers? Why have they not done it? That is why I have come to see Mr President.
“And also I have said that if these actions are not taken, it becomes a must for us as governors to take measures to protect our citizens, even if it means we will import mercenaries from outside the country to do it.
“If our soldiers fail, I swear to God, we will do that. This issue has gotten to an alarming state.
“Mr President assured me that he will take actions and that this thing will be brought to an end within months.”