The Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has said he will consider bringing in foreign mercenaries to fight terrorists hibernating in forests areas around Kaduna if the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari fails to tackle the terrorism head-on.
El-Rufai, who spoke with journalists shortly after briefing the president on the recent killings in Kaduna State including Monday’s bomb explosion on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line which claimed nine lives with a yet-to-be known number of people abducted, said state governors will have no choice but to take action to protect the lives and properties of their people.
Speaking in Hausa, El-Rufai said: “I have complained to Mr president and I swear to God, if action is not taken, we as governors will take actions to protect the lives of our people.
“If it means deploying foreign mercenaries to come and do the work, we will do it to address these challenges.”
Nigerian newspaper, Daily Trust reports that the government under former President Goodluck Jonathan was in 2015 accused of hiring mercenaries from South Africa to fight Boko Haram even though the then federal government had denied the claim.
However, El-Rufai who said the president has assured him that action will be taken to bring an end to terrorism in the next few months, explained that the best way to tackle terrorism once and for all was for the Nigerian Armed Forces to bomb forest enclaves where terrorists are hibernating.
Speaking on Monday’s attack on the rail line, he said: “They came ready and they have been preparing for a long time and knew which coach to attack, abduct the VIP.
“And I have been saying that the forests where these bandits are hiding, it is high time that we go there and bomb them all. Everyone in the forest should be killed.
“Unless this is done, this problem will persist and it is capable of destroying Nigeria as a whole.”
“These people (terrorists) are getting money. The way they are so emboldened; they fear no authority, no soldier and so why won’t security agents go to their enclaves and kill them all?
“We know where they are, SSS gives reports on them every day, they have their numbers including that of Dogo Gide and what he is planning,” he said.
The governor also made it clear that his administration will not pay ransom to secure the freedom of the abducted passengers even though he said the terrorists are yet to make specific demands.
He said, “They have contacted some of the families but they have not made specific demands yet.
“They are not the ordinary kidnappers, it’s Boko Haram members that connived with bandits to launch the attack and so our thought is, they may demand the government to pay the ransom.”
He assured that security personnel were working tirelessly to locate the terrorists and rescue the passengers, adding that government will always give priority in protecting the lives of citizens over everything.