Leader of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria, Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba has commended Malam Nasir El-Rufai for the developmental strides that he has recorded in Kaduna State.
The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, said this during a visit by a delegation of Bishops and senior officials of the church to Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna on Thursday.
Responding, Governor Nasir El-Rufai who thanked the church leaders for their visit and kind words, appealed to all leaders to help calm nerves in order to engender peaceful co-existence in the country.
The governor said that ‘’those of us that have a responsibility for law and order , for ensuring peaceful co-existence, should rise up to the occasion and do it. ‘’
The governor assured all residents of Kaduna state of their safety, adding that northern governors have consulted each other and have guaranteed ‘’the safety and security of everyone living in northern Nigeria, in spite of what is happening in other parts of the country.’’
‘’We are aware that there are groups that are meeting in Kaduna and addressing a press conference and they are free to do that. The freedom of expression is guaranteed in the constitution.
‘’However, if they issue any threat to any citizen of Nigeria living in Kaduna state, they will be arrested on the spot and we will prosecute them vigorously. We will not tolerate anyone threatening anybody in Kaduna state. And that is what we expect every other governor to do in his state,’’ he warned.
The governor maintained that ‘’in every ethnic group and in every religion, there are good people and bad people. And we should not, because of the activities of a few bad elements, call an entire ethnic or religious group by a criminal appellation.’’
According to El Rufai, ‘’there was a time in the history of this country when armed robbery was the exclusive preserve of people of a certain part of the country but they were never profiled as ‘’ X’’ armed robbers. Advance Fee Fraud is also unique to some parts of the country but their ethnicity is never tagged when calling them Yahoo boys.’’
‘’ I think in the same manner, we should be very careful in assuming that every herdsman is a criminal or every Fulani is a herdsman or every herdsman is a killer. This is a dangerous trend that can ignite crisis in this country. There are criminals amongst them and we must identify and deal with them,’’ he added.
El Rufai lamented that insecurity has increased, adding that many areas that were safe have now become targets of bandits, particularly in parts of Giwa, Chikun, Igabi and outskirts of Zaria local government, especially Wusasa.
‘’ We are discussing with our ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs to take steps to further protect those vulnerable areas,’’ he assured, adding that ‘’there is no time that Nigeria needs prayers like this time that we are going through. ‘’
‘’This insecurity is all over the country. And some mischievous people are trying to use it to further divide us along ethnic and religious lines. Our view here in Kaduna state is, in every ethnic group, in every religion there are good people and bad people. And our duty as leaders is to identify the bad people and arrest and prosecute them, ‘’ he maintained.
According to the governor, banditry ‘’has become an industry and we must work together to put an end to it. Now, it is not just the bandits but there is a network of logistics supporting the banditry.’’
‘’ The informants, those that supply them food and drugs, live within us. The bandits may not live within us, many of them live in the forests, but their logistics chain consists of people that live with us. They are the ones that identify those to be kidnapped because kidnappers target people in their homes,’’ he added.
Speaking at the occasion, Bishop Ndukuba thanked EL Rufai for the numerous projects that he is carrying out which are touching on the lives of the people.
The Primate of the Anglican Church noted that Nigeria is passing through one of the challenging times in its history, adding that ‘’the impact of coronavirus on our economy, our social relationship and even other activities is quite a challenge.’’
Reverend Ndukuba appealed to government to intensify efforts in procuring the Covid-19 vaccines because ‘’some other countries are already doing that and some of our privileged people in Nigeria are moving out to get it.’’