Banditry’ll affect agric in North-west – El-Rufai

Kaduna state governor Nasir el-Rufai has expressed grief over the high spate of banditry in the North-west, saying it would affect agriculture unless it was dealt with.

El-Rufai told State House correspondents on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that his visit was to find a lasting solution to the problem.

He said, however, that the nation’s security agencies had been doing their best to contain the menace.

“The Sokoto story only hit the headlines just a few days ago, but in Zamfara, in Kaduna, in Niger, in Katsina, this banditry has become a north-western scourge and we have been battling it with the support of the military.

“We are very grateful to the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Army and in our own particular case, even the Navy has been holding fort Southern Kaduna. We have been dealing with this issue and our concern now is with the operations in Sokoto and Zamfara.

“Many of the bandits will move to Kaduna; this is part of the reasons I am here, I will be meeting with the Minister of Defense and the Service Chiefs to try to get more military activities, some operations to be strengthened,” he said.

He said the Chief of Air Staff had assured him that whatever was needed to be done to wipe out the bandits and to enable farmers go to farm as the rains advanced would be done.

“We are confident that things will get better. It is most unfortunate that we have had to deal with it in the North-west in the same way that Boko Haram ravaged the North-east. These bandits are also becoming a serious problem in the North-west; but the problem is being addressed.”

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