From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-rufai has said that insecurity in the State is till extremely serious, but it is improving by the day.
This was even as the governor reiterated a call for establishment of a Theatre Command, similar to the in the North-East, for effective security operations in the seven states of the North-West and Niger State which have continuous and contiguous forest ranges that are hiding terrorists.
Governor  El-rufai made the remarks on Friday at the presentation of the state’s Security reports for the second and third quarters of 2022.
He said, “security situation in Kaduna state is improving but still dire.
“We have just seen the presentation made by Samuel Aruwan, our Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs. In stark terms, it demonstrates the continued severity of the security challenges and the unfortunate toll in killings, kidnappings, injuries and threats to the livelihoods of our people. We regret the pain and losses. We pray for the repose of the souls of those killed, pay tribute to the victims of various crimes and reiterate our solidarity with them.
“The reports present detailed data on the persistence of the security challenge in our state. We publish these reports in fulfilment of our obligation to the residents of this state. Citizens have legitimate expectations to be provided with consistently accurate accounts of what is going on and to be updated on the measures being taken to address the security challenge.
“The figures show a pattern of reductions in the gravity of security incidents in the second and third quarters of 2022, compared to the first quarter. This is a consequence of the intensification of offensive security operations against the bandits in recent months. We have for years called for a comprehensive and sustained assertion of the prerogatives of the state, through combined air and ground military and police operations. This is the most effective way to protect our people, uphold law and order and enhance the ability of our people to the peaceful pursuit of their livelihoods.
‘We thank the Federal Government for finally authorising the launch of these military and police offensives. We commend the military and security forces for their efforts and sacrifices as they work to uproot the criminals. I wish to stress that in this region, this vital mission requires a comprehensive and consistent sweep, across the Northwest and Niger states for sustained success.
“For us, that is the abiding lesson of the security operations that were launched in 2015/2016, as a collaboration between the states in the area and the Federal Government. The initial success that operation recorded in the Kamuku-Kuyambana forest ranges was not consolidated through continuous operations, and the criminal elements were thus able to recover, regroup and resume.
“That lesson and the continued nature of the cross-state operations of these criminals informs the view of the Kaduna State Government that a Theatre Command, similar to the one in place in the North-East, is required. Effective security operations in the seven states of the North-West and Niger State which have continuous and contiguous forest ranges, require this approach.
‘We wish to repeat this appeal which we have made in public and in private for many months. A North-West Theatre Command will enable an holistic approach to counter-insurgency operations across the affected states and the enhanced coordination of the resources of the Armed Forces, the Police, the SSS, our respective State Vigilance Services, hunters and other local volunteers to fight the insurgents. It is our opinion that the insurgency in the North-West is not only more serious than what exists now in the North-East, but presents a clear danger to the holding of the 2023 elections and census if not nipped in the bud now.
“On our part, the Kaduna State Government will continue to do everything within the powers of a state to enhance security. We have invested considerable resources and energy in managing security to the extent that the constitution permits a subnational. Our interventions since 2015 include supporting the federal security agencies deployed in our state with vehicles and other logistics, collaborating with other frontline states to fund military operations in the 2015-2016 period and investments in security infrastructure and technology. The lessons learnt  in the 2016-2019 period informed our decision to establish the first sub-national Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs at the beginning of our second-term in 2019.
“The mandate of the Ministry is to manage the state government’s relationship with the federal security agencies deployed in the state and to coordinate their activities towards securing our people in an atmosphere of unprecedented challenges. This entails building strong relationships with these agencies. Through the Ministry, the state is deepening intelligence gathering from communities. It also runs the 24-hour Security Operations Room.
“But the extent of interventions in security by the State Government can do is constitutionally limited. The Federal  Government has to more vigorously exercise its constitutional powers and urgently spearhead a national effort to strengthen our security forces. The Federal Government has to sustain the effort to promptly address the needs of the  the SSS, military and police for modern technology, advanced armaments, equipment and more boots on the ground.
“Let me at this juncture, extend our sincere gratitude to our Emirs and Chiefs for being the leading and influential anchors of peaceful coexistence and intelligence-gathering in our various communities. Our Peace Commissioners and the House of Kaduna Family deserve exceptional recognition and our gratitude for their efforts in peacemaking and peace-building.
“Before I conclude my remarks, let me quickly respond to some of the issues raised by our senior military, police and security officers and the members of the Security Council today:
“Concerns about political thuggery as we approach the elections must be addressed in a proactive manner. We need to profile political actors, map their thugs and bring them to justice immediately.
“Those engaged in propagating injurious falsehood and incitement need to be vigorously prosecuted.
“The case of the Birnin Gwari lynching and the statement that followed needs to be followed with prosecution and conviction.
“The observation that Ladugga with 24 villages may need a District Head has been brought up from time to time. The Ministry responsible for chieftain  matters should look into this and make recommendations for consideration.
“We urge our community leaders and Royal Highnesses to intensify efforts at identifying informants, black spots for the sale of drugs, and those that destroy critical infrastructure.
‘We appeal to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to conclude the Tax Credit arrangement with Dangote Group for the reconstruction of the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari highway and Birnin Gwari-Dansadau Roads which were approved by Mr. President since 2019.
“We are grateful to the security agencies, particularly the Army, Air Force, Navy, Police, Civil Defence, SSS, our State Vigilance Service, NDLEA and KASTLEA for constant collaboration with our Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs in the hard work of securing the state”.

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