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Bandit Leader Rufa’i Maikaji, Dozens Of His Fighters Killed By Troops In Kaduna
The Kaduna State Government has confirmed the killing of one ‘Rufai Maikaji’, a deadly bandit who commanded over a hundred fighters in the area.
This comes on the back of painstaking checks with security agencies, and careful exploitation of numerous human intelligence sources.
A statement on Thursday by the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said Mr Maikaji and dozens of his fighters were neutralized during air interdictions around the fringes of Malul Forest in Igabi LGA of Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
The statement said: “The aerial missions in which ‘Rufai Maikaji’ and his gang were neutralized were conducted in late February when he (Rufai Maikaji) and the bandits under his command, on sighting ground troops, escaped from Anaba village of Igabi LGA where they killed some citizens, burnt houses and kidnapped some locals.
“The prompt response by the air platforms ended the reign of terror maintained by ‘Rufai Maikaji’ and his bloodsucking accomplices.
“From further checks, ‘Rufai Maikaji’ and his group were confirmed to be responsible for the killing, kidnapping and cattle rustling in many communities in Giwa, Igabi and Chikun LGAs, especially in the following locations: Iyatawa, Garke, Kumfa, Bakali, Karau-karau and Galadimawa, Anaba, Kerawa, Hashimawa, Sabon Birni, Buruku general area and parts of Chikun LGA axis of Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road.
“‘Rufai Maikaji’ is said to have begun his ignoble career as an errand boy to some deadly bandits in and around Sabon Birni general area of Igabi LGA. From this position, he grew to become a household name in banditry.”
According to the statement, the state government, military, police, SSS and all agencies assured residents of the communities that suffered the brutality of ‘Rufai Maikaji’ that aggressive pursuit of other accomplices who escaped the onslaught is in full swing, and they will be caught sooner rather than later.
“In his response, Governor Nasir El-Rufai praised the military for taking down the bandit leader and his accomplices.
“The Governor further assured them of the firm commitment of the government and people of Kaduna State in the ongoing operations against the bandits throughout the state,” the statement noted.
Earlier today, a coalition of 15 north-based civil society organisations, CSOs, alleged that kidnapping and banditry are money spinning ventures for some governors in the northern region.
The groups under the umbrella of Non-State Actors Consultative Forum (NOSACOF) also condemned Governors of Zamfara and Katsina States, and other elites in the North who are calling for negotiation with terrorists as an alternative to military intervention to end insecurity in the country.
Addressing journalists in Kano yesterday on the state of insecurity in northern Nigeria, the Co-convener of coalition, Mr. Ibrahim Waiya, alleged that political actors in the North have devised a new strategy to swindling public resources through negotiation with bandits.
Waiya stressed that the new trend being orchestrated to undermine the national security architecture and efforts of the military to stop the invasion of terrorists may spell dome for the country if not quickly addressed.
He also condemned the action of the governors, “who are granting amnesty to bandits, terrorists and abductors,” insisted that such action was clearly an act of legitimising terrorism in the country.
The co-convener disclosed that the forum was discontented with the huge resources that exchange hands between politicians and the bandits in the name of ransom, adding that the governors have failed to address poverty and joblessness which remain the root cause of insecurity in the North.
He contended that paying bandits ransom was the same as empowering the terrorists with public funds to purchase more sophisticated weapons against the state.
The groups accused political actors in the North of allegedly launching a campaign of calumny against the personality of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to President Muhammad Buhari, Major-General Mohammad Babagana Manguno (rtd), because of his vehement disapproval of negotiating with bandits.
Although the groups insisted that their interest was not under any sponsorship, they maintained that Manguno has demonstrated uncommon integrity and would never misappropriation public funds as alleged.
“We condemn in the strongest terms what has now become some states government standard policy of using taxpayers’ money to pay terrorists and bandits thereby funding and encouraging more terrorism and legitimising criminality in the country.
“We believed that negotiation with bandits is not the best option because it is another form of corruption. We have seen where bandits and government officials negotiate and share ransom. In Katsina State for instance, there was a case where the state government approved about N800 million as ransoms and the government officials ended up giving out less than N300,000.
“So because of the corruption involved, the governors, who are also benefiting from the loot, will never want the government to deploy full military application to end the banditry. They have continued to criticise the NSA to the president because the man is opposed to their view on adoption of negotiation,” they stated.
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