Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says a situation where security agencies only respond to incidents of banditry is unacceptable.
El-Rufai said this at town-hall meeting on security organised by the federal government in Kaduna on Thursday.
The governor said security agencies must collaborate and take the fight to bandits and kidnappers because the country is at war with them.
“The situation in which the security agencies mostly only react to cases of banditry and abduction is unacceptable,” he said.
“We are in a war with these terrorists who are challenging the sovereignty and monopoly of the instruments of coercion of the Nigerian state and its territory.
“Our security forces must collaborate to take the war to them, recover and restore the un-governed forests these terrorists occupy, and enable our law-abiding citizens to engage in their legitimate pursuits.”
The governor reiterated his position that bandits must be “wiped out” because they have lost their right to life, going by the constitution.
“These bandits have lost their right to life under our constitution and must be wiped out in their entirety. There is no other way to approach the current insurgency situation today as far as governmental action is concerned,” he said.
According to him, the country has found itself in “near-anarchy” because there are “too many carrots without sticks”.
“Notions of a common humanity, not to talk of a common citizenship are not as widely or deeply shared as it would appear. Identity politics holds sway. This reflects the absence of an elite consensus about who we are and how we should live together,” he said.
The governor said more responsibilities should be given to states so that the federal government is not blamed for everything that goes wrong.
“Centralised policing in a federation is not only a contradiction in terms,” he said.
“The state governments today bear most of the burden of the running costs of the federal police anyway, so why not the sub-nationals of the state police now. So I repeat my persistent call for state police as soon as possible.
“To address the banditry prevalent in the north-west and north-central, we must implement the national livestock transformation plan already produced four years ago.”