Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has disagreed with Nigerians urging the Federal Government to address the issue of banditry and terrorism using the same measures that facilitated the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.
El-Rufai made the clarification in a recent interview with BBC Pidgin while reacting to the arrest of Kanu who has been remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services after appearing before a court in Abuja earlier this week.
According to the governor, the difference between the groups lies in the fact that bandits and Boko Haram terrorists operate differently from the Kanu-led IPOB.
He said that the bandits’ have no centralised leadership and their activities are a mere form of business, unlike IPOB that focuses on the break-up of Nigeria with Kanu as their leader.
“I was very happy (when Nnamdi Kanu was arrested) because, first he jumped bail, jeopardising his sureties.
“Secondly, a person that challenges the sovereignty and the authority of a state and incites violence; he refers to his own country as a zoo.
“This should be a message to all these separatists challenging the authority of the Nigerian State to be very careful.”
Asked if Boko Haram and bandits should be treated with the same swiftness that led to Kanu’s arrest, El-Rufai said, “No! No! No! No! People are comparing apples to oranges.
“Nnamdi Kanu is the leader of IPOB, a proscribed organisation. He is identifiable, in constant communication and everyone knows where he is.
“Let’s take Boko Haram for instance. Shekau was in hiding and for the past 10 years and the military had been waging a war to get him.
“It is not like Shekau was in Saudi Arabia, sitting in one place, tweeting about the break up of Nigeria or asking Boko Haram to go and kill Helen and Nasir el-Rufai.
“Nnamdi Kanu is in one place while Shekau is waging guerrilla warfare. The insurgency is still going on and the Federal Government is not giving up.
“Regarding bandits, they are not centralised under one leadership. Who is the head of the bandits? Who is the equivanlent of Nmandi Kanu with banditry?
“Bandits are just collections of independent criminals. It is a business for them. It is not a case of Nigeria must break up.
“I want to challenge anyone to tell me the central leader of bandits in the same position as Kanu.”
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