By Ismail Auwal
Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has linked the increasing incidents of banditry and kidnappings to the Boko Haram terrorists escaping from the military pressure in the Northeast, who are now moving to other parts of Nigeria to operate as bandits and kidnappers.
The NGF’s Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, made this, against the background of the recent massacre of 78 farmers in Zabarmari, Borno State, by the Boko Haram fighters.
Fayemi further noted that the insecurity in the country was not limited to Borno State, highlighting that there is a nexus between terrorists’ activities in the Northeast and the banditry in the Northwest, as well as the kidnapping in the southern part of the country.
Speaking on Channels Television, the governor dismissed the clamour for state of emergency in the affected states. He said, “If a state of emergency were to be declared, I have no opinion on that, we haven’t discussed the state of emergency as far as the Governors’ Forum is concerned.”
“And that is not something that our colleagues who are at the receiving end of the insurgency have proposed to us”, added Fayemi.
“Insurgency is not limited to Borno State. We will be making a mistake if we do not draw a correlation between what is going on in Borno State and what is happening in other parts of the country– banditry, kidnapping, militancy, they are inextricably intertwined.
Some of the insurgents that escaped from the Boko Haram territory are the ones prosecuting the banditry in the Northwest; some of them are involved in the kidnapping in the Southwest. How many states are you going to declare a state of emergency on then? So, we must take a holistic view of this.” he said
The governor asserted that the state governments should have more powers to handle the security of their domains, adding that the federal government must do everything to make Nigerians feel safe and secure.
In the past few years, banditry and kidnappings have particularly overwhelmed the northwestern, and to some extent southwestern regions of Nigeria.