Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai yesterday said bandits have lost the right to life under the Constitution and must be wiped out.
He spoke during a town hall meeting on national security organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture in Kaduna.
Its theme was: “Setting benchmarks for enhanced security and national unity in Nigeria.”
The governor said: “The bandits are at war with Nigeria and there is no other way to approach the current insurgency but for security forces to take the war to the bandits and recover forests where they are occupying.
“We are in a war with these terrorist challenging the sovereignty of the Nigerian state.
“Our security forces must collaborate to take the war to the bandits and terrorist, recover and restore the forest to enable our law-abiding citizens to engage in legitimate farming and livestock production.”
El-Rufai said the government must identify and deal with non-state actors and others challenging the existence of the country.
The governor advised that security forces should be increased and be well equipped to deal with the insurgency, adding that the judiciary must also be decentralised to serve justice.
“To address the banditry prevalent in the Northwest and Northcentral, we must implement the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) produced four years ago to enable accelerated investment in modern animal husbandry, incorporating the rapid sedentarisation of herders in known locations”, he said.
The NLTP provides a framework to transform the Nigerian livestock sector and eliminate farmer-herder conflict by evolving intensive livestock production systems.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the starting point towards addressing the myriad of problems confronting the nation is the building of an “elite consensus”.
He stressed that the nation must build elite consensus on the security, unity, indissolubility and peaceful existence of the country
He recalled that such elite consensus had worked in the past and could be made to work at the present by proffering solutions to security threats.
“We believe that finding a way out of the situation in which we have found ourselves requires teamwork, reflecting all diversities and leveraging on all our collective creativity to pursue with diligence the project of rescuing Nigeria,” he said.