Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, on Monday, said his government will neither negotiate nor compensate bandits terrorising the state.
The governor disagreed with popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi, who last week called state governors and federal government to dialogue and negotiate with the bandits who he claimed had lost their possessions to cattle rustling.
El-Rufai who spoke in an interview with BBC Hausa, said the bandits should not be forgiven for taking arms against the country.
He said, “My administration is at war with the bandits and so we cannot negotiate. Eliminating them is the only solution to banditry.”
“Anybody that thinks a Fulani man that ventured into kidnapping for ransom, and he is earning millions of naira, would go back to his former life of getting N100,000 after selling a cow in a year, must be deceiving himself,” he added.
He questioned the idea of compensating the bandits after killing people and destroying people’s means of livelihood.
The governor said, “Why should they be compensated after killing people, destroying their houses. Who offended them? Ahmad Gumi is my friend and this is what we discussed with him.
“I told him that majority of these Fulani bandits don’t believe in religion. Therefore, I don’t believe in what he (Gumi) is doing that they should be forgiven and compensated.”
“As a result, every state is fighting in its own way. If we cannot come together for the federal government to provide us with soldiers and police to enter the bush and kill all the bandits, it will be difficult to succeed in the fight against banditry.
“There is no synergy among the governors in the north-west on how to end the banditry. But Kaduna is collaborating with Niger State on modalities to end the killings by the gunmen.
“State like Zamfara adopted a policy of dialogue with the gunmen, giving them amnesty, which I don’t believe in. With this, we have differences on how to tackle the situation.
“We sat together with the governors in Katsina, but we disagreed on how to tackle the criminality. Some believed on dialogue, while others didn’t.”