Photo: Senator Shehu Sani
Former Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani on Sunday revealed that Kaduna State is the biggest centre of banditry and kidnapping operations such that they control 21 out of 23 Local Governments effectively.
He said, it’s only the two Local Governments in Kaduna metropolis that were left to be run by the government.
Sani spoke on AIT on Sunday while being featured by Signature Show which was monitored by CAPITAL POST in Abuja.
The Civil Rights activist lamented that government has been lacklustre in confronting criminal elements wreaking havoc on Nigerians all over the places.
He stressed that government could not claim to be providing infrastructure, while citizens are being maimed on daily basis.
He said: “No matter the infrastructural development you are able to achieve as a leader, once, the blood of your people is being spilled every day, you have not achieved anything!
“Once human life doesn’t matter, nothing matters. Look at what’s happening in Benue, killings every day every where. Same thing in Plateau, the same thing, in Nasarawa.
“Coming back to Kaduna, in the whole 23 Local Governments that we have, it is only in the two LGAs that are located in the metropolis that kidnapping doesn’t take place. So where is the nation; where is the government; where is the country?
“Governments that have responsibility of tackling these problems are also behaving hopeless and helpless,” Sani said.
Reacting to the idea of negotiation with insurgents for ransom, he said, “I don’t think negotiation can solve the problem completely, but it gives idea of the problem which you are being confronted with and it gives an opportunity to penetrate the bandits in order to destroy them.
He said over 300 villages have been displaced by criminal elements, while they are also targeting the well to do in the society.
More than 300 villages in Niger and Kaduna States have been displaced. Close to Kotangora people are being killed and it doesn’t even stop at poor people in our days.
“The son of the Emir of Kontangora was killed; the driver of Emir of Birnin Gwari was killed. A lawmaker coming from Zamfara to Kano with his son has been killed and his son who was taken captive is still in captivity as we speak.
“Very recently, a prominent businessman was killed in Bauchi State; students, university lecturers, doctors lawyers, engineers, nobody is safe in this country again,” he said.
He wondered at how security agents have been defocused in these perilous times in the history of Nigeria, adding that they have delved into establishing personal businesses at the detriment of the nation.
“Then you ask yourself, a country that has Army, Police, Navy, Air force, Civil Defence and myriad of security agents, yet we can’t protect the people, we can’t protect the country, what kind of leaders do we have?
“To me, if we are going to tackle these problems, we must unite as a country. Our sectional, ethnic and religious division is simply destroying us and making it impossible and there is need for a national solidarity.
“We must unite as a country, whether this danger is herdsmen, whether the danger is banditry, or whether this danger is terrorism, so that we can do away with gunmen who are known and unknown that have declared war on Nigeria.
“From what I am seeing, it has become a business for some people in Nigeria. Billions upon billions are pumped into banditry and terrorism as ransom and there seems not to be an end in sight.
“And from the side of government, hundreds of billions are being pumped into defence and security apparatus and it’s still not solving the problem.
“The minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed made a recent disclosure that she has released N1.3 trillion in 28 months to the Nigerian Army during the last Service Chiefs, different from the special approvals and allocations which they have been going to the President to get.
“From the beginning till date, security allocation has been the highest in our national budget.
“How can we be pumping millions of dollars without commensurate results? How can we be confronting bandits who are just using AK47, motorcycles and their phones and still be difficult? They are not that sophisticated.
“We need the political will, we need to unite as a country, we need to adopt technologies that will make it impossible for bandits to operate.
“Nigeria’s defence budget is fifty times higher than Niger Republic, yet, Niger is safer than Nigeria.
“Our security agents before the coming of the new Service Chiefs, what do they do? They’re all establishing universities in their vvillages.
“Now security agents are building hotels and shopping malls and business units. Is that what security agencies are supposed to do? To build hostels, shopping malls and building universities?
“What are we supposed to do as a country? We are over 211 million people. Niger is one and half rimes the size of Nigeria. Algeria is a hundred times the size of Nigeria in land mass.
“if they can secure their borders, we should be able to secure our border. I want leaders that would be strong on banditry, on armed herdsmen; and on terrorism,” Senator Sani lamented.