Banditry In Northwest: Governor Sani Blames Poverty, Joblessness, Says Accountable Governance Way out

From, Amos Ebute Mathew, Kaduna

Governor of Kaduna State Uba Sani has blamed the spate of banditry and other forms of insecurity in Northwest states of Nigeria on poverty and idleness, proffering good and accountable governance as panacea and lasting solution to the menace.

Uba Sani made the disclosure while hosting members of Kaduna Elders’ Forum who were in Government House to congratulate the Governor on his Supreme Court victory.

He stated that as Kaduna intensified military actions against banditry and kidnapping with the support of the Defence headquarters to build additional two Forward Operation Bases in the state, his government was also adopting good governance as the best non-kinetic solution to the security challenges.

Governor Sani who noted that, the alarming rate of out of school children must also be addressed to ensure a secured state and region.

He acknowledged the support of 28 million dollars from Kuwait to address the problem of out of school children.

“The Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army and the Chief of Air Staff, have assured us of their support to our security efforts. They have decided to set up two Forward Operation Bases (FOB) in Kafuna, one in the Southern Kaduna, Zangon Kataf to be precise and the other one in Birnin Gwari to serve Birnin Gwari down to Giwa. The FOBs will be set up in the next three weeks.

“This is one of the most important interventions by the Defence Headquarters because we have always said that, we need more boots on ground and we need the support or the military generally and we are grateful that we are having that support.

“We have also announced last week that we would be setting up a security trust fund. By the grace of God, tomorrow, I would be signing the bill for the establishment of Security Trust Fund 2024. We are amending the one that is obsolete and coming up with a new one. This will give room for the private sector to come in and work with us.

“We are also looking at the non-kinetic approach to addressing the security challenges. But the issue of non-kinetic approach is not just about talking with the bandits, negotiating and asking them to submit their weapons, that is only one aspect of it.

“The most important aspect of non-kinetic approach is good governance. No matter how much we talk and try to bring about peace, if we don’t look at the area of good governance, we will never end the problem of insecurity in the Northern Nigeria in particular.

“People always talk about how the problem of insurgency was ended in the North-East, but insurgency is not the same with the problem of banditry and kidnapping that we have in the North-West. The North-East issue was about people that came from nowhere and talk about ideology of Boko.

“What we have in the North-West is an economic problem where people kidnap and ask for money. What brought about that? Hopelessness, lack of education, lack of economic prosperity.

“The problem of the North West is lack of education and financial exclusion. Over 85 per cent of the people in the North West are either not educated or financially excluded. So, there is poverty if we don’t address the poverty by supporting our farmers and increase productivity, we will not address the problem of insecurity.

“So, we need to look at the issue of good governance, good governance is key. Many states in the North-West including Kaduna have a large number of out of school children, which is unacceptable. Even access to healthcare, which is not a privilege but a right is poor.

“Education is the greatest enabler, so, we must educate the children of the poor to compete favorably with the children of the rich. If we don’t do that, the problem of insecurity cannot be addressed. Happy that a lot of people are already looking at that.

“In Kaduna State, we have over 600,000 out of school children. But, because they realized how proactive we have been, Kuwait Fund is supporting us with $28million to lift out of school children back to school,” the Governor said.

Earlier, the Kaduna Elders’ Forum led by General Zamani Lekwot (rtd) and Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha while congratulating the Governor over his electoral victory, said his governance approach of developing the rural area was already yielding positive results.