At least 937 people died in violent attacks and mass atrocities in Kaduna State last year, an annual security report by the state government has shown.
The report released Wednesday attributed the deaths to kidnappings, banditry and other criminal activities that cut “across all ethnic and religious groups” in Kaduna State.
“Victims of criminal acts like banditry and kidnapping are to be found across ethnic, religious or political leanings and persuasions,’’ Samuel Aruwan, the state’s commissioner for internal security and home affairs, said while presenting the report.
In his presentation, Mr Aruwan said that of the 937 killed, Igabi Local Government Area recorded the highest number of casualties (152), followed by Kajuru Local Government Area with 144 casualties.
He added that Birnin Gwari, Igabi, Giwa and Chikun local governments in Kaduna central accounted for about 50 per cent (or 468 deaths) of the entire fatalities in the state.
Meanwhile, 286 died in Kaduna South from the violent attacks, which is about one third of the total.
“This is due in large part to sporadic clashes, alongside banditry which triggered attacks and counter-attacks, especially between June and November 2020,’’ the commissioner said.
He said 1,972 persons were kidnapped within the period under review.
While receiving the report, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said the state has been using its limited resources to address the security challenges facing it.
Mr El-Rufai paid tribute to the victims of insecurity, reiterating his administration’s effort in protecting lives and properties of the people of the state.
“The Kaduna state Government has also invested in technology to help secure the state,” the governor said adding that “A CCTV network is being deployed in Kaduna metropolis while options for consistent operations of its drones are being explored.’’
The governor also explained that he has been collaborating with neighbouring states to tackle the menace of insecurity.
“Together with Niger State and our neighbours in the North-west, we put together resources to fund military operations against bandits in the Kamuku-Kuyambana forest range that straddles the region.”
He, however, regretted that this collaboration which was done in 2015 was not sustained or expanded into a campaign of continuous, simultaneous operations against the bandits across the egion.
Failure to contain and defeat them has emboldened them to develop a national footprint and endanger national cohesion, he said
“The security of our communities depend on the robust projection of state power, and that can only be done with sufficient security numbers to overawe and deter criminals,’’ the governor added
He also called for the decentralisation of policing, noting that there simply are not enough police officers in Nigeria and the idea of policing such a vast, federal republic in a unitary manner is not pragmatic.
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