Nigerians should not be afraid of bandits, according to Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, who claims that the perpetrators are “a tiny minority.”
He also announced on Sunday that President Muhammadu Buhari has given seven North-West governors, including himself, the task of putting an end to banditry in the region.
This was revealed by Mr Bagudu, the chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, at a Fulani Stakeholders’ Peace, Security, and Unity Meeting in Birnin-Kebbi.
The president’s mandate, according to the governor, was to secure the immediate restoration of normalcy in the region.
He emphasized that the president was totally committed to appropriately protecting all law-abiding and peaceful citizens’ lives and property.
Mr Bagudu praised the military and other security agencies for their efforts in addressing the country’s security issues.
He appealed to Nigerians to be less apprehensive in confronting the enemies of peace and unity, saying, “They are a negligible few, and we should all brace the odds.
“The issue of ensuring security in the nation is a collective responsibility, and as such, all hands must be on deck in this direction.“
Mr Bagudu also reaffirmed his earlier promise to spearhead the search for the Federal Government College Birnin Yauri students and personnel who had been kidnapped.
On June 17, bandits broke into the college and kidnapped many teachers and students.
However, about 11 of the abductees have been rescued so far by a military unit.
The governor said, “We were not elected only to stay in the office, but to do anything to safeguard the lives and property of all law-abiding citizens. We have to do everything to guarantee peace, unity, and security even to the extent of sacrificing our lives as ordained by religious scriptures.”
The Fulani stakeholders conference, according to Mr Bagudu, was convened to assess progress achieved in addressing the difficulties and to propose feasible solutions.
He claimed his government has formed a steering group to investigate grazing reserves, livestock routes, and lingering disputes between farmers and herders as a means of securing long-term peace and security in the state.
“Government is fully aware of issues raised, just as it has already started implementing some of the recommendations raised by the committee.
“No matter the efforts put in by the government, there has to be the understanding and acceptance of those concerned to have a positive effect on their lives,” he said.