By Ismail Auwal
Kaduna State Government has said that 1,192 people were killed and 3,348 were kidnapped by bandits in the state in 2021.
Moreover, 891 people were injured in bandit and communal attacks, and 45 people, including 29 minors, were raped in the state.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, disclosed this while presenting the 2021’s fourth quarter and annual reports of the security situation in the state to Governor Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna on Tuesday.
He also said 13,788 cattle were rustled during the period under review in the state.
He stated that the Kaduna Central Senatorial District was the hardest hit by bandits, with 720 deaths, closely followed by the Southern Kaduna Senatorial District with 406 deaths, and the Northern Kaduna Senatorial District with 66 deaths from bandits and violent attacks.
According to him, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area had 179 fatalities in 2021, followed by Giwa LGA with 173 and Chikun LGA with 160.
“The total number of deaths linked to banditry and other forms of violence in 2021 is 1,192. This comprised 1,038 men, 104 women and 50 minors,” Aruwan added.
On kidnapping, the commissioner said, “From 3,348 people kidnapped in 2021, Kaduna Central District accounts for 2,771 and of that number, 2,449 were kidnapped within Birnin Gwari, Igabi, Giwa and Chikun Local Government Areas.”
He added that the two local government areas from the Southern Kaduna Senatorial District of Kachia and Kagarko recorded kidnap of 298 persons on mainly the highways traversing the areas.
The commissioner added that of the total number of those kidnapped across the state in 2021, “985 were women and 340 were below the age of 18.”
“Out of the reported rape cases, 18 occurred in the Northern Senatorial District with Kudan LGA accounting for seven and Soba LGA recording six,” he added.
He also said 13,788 cattle were rustled in the state, saying that the Kaduna Central Senatorial District accounted for over 74% of the total.
The commissioner added that in 2021, there were 182 reports of farms destroyed across the state notably in Birnin Gwari, Kajuru, Igabi, Giwa, Chikun, Jema’a, Laura, Kauru and Zango-Kataf LGAs.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, after receiving the report, asked the Federal Government to create another ‘Theatre Command’ similar to the one in the North East to tackle the insecurity in the North West and Niger State.
The governor also maintained that bandits or terrorists do not mercy and therefore, must be killed.
He said the military and the police needed to be provided with modern equipment by the Federal Government.
El-Rufai said, “We are in no doubt that that there must be an urgent national effort to strengthen our security forces. The military and police need modern technology, advanced armaments, equipment and more boots on the ground.
“The security of our communities depends on the robust projection of state power, and that can only be done with sufficient security personnel to overwhelm and deter criminals. The prerogatives of the state need to be asserted, not merely proclaimed. The people we put in uniform must never be placed in avoidable danger, outgunned or outnumbered by non-state actors.
“It is when the terrorists are decimated that ‘soft’, non-kinetic peace building will gain traction.”
The governor added, “We will continue to emphasise that as a state government, we do not believe that there is any phenomenon like ‘repentant bandits’.
“Any person that makes a conscious decision to secure arms, challenge the authority of the Nigerian state, and threatens the lives and property of Nigerians, does not deserve to live, or be granted any concession by the society.”
In calling for the creation of a Theatre Command similar to the situation in the North-East, he added, “The creation of such a Theatre Command will enable holistic approach to counter-insurgent operations across the six 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.”