We won’t negotiate with kidnappers over release of 39 students, 3 teachers – El-Rufai

Kaduna state government will not negotiate with the abductors of 39 students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation and three teachers of LEA Primary School Rema, Birnin Gwari, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has reiterated. 
Governor el-Rufai, who believed that ranching as is currently being established in Damau, Kubau local government area, is the best form of rearing cattle given the prevailing situation, called for the establishment of state police to address the burgeoning insecurity ravaging parts of the country, and enable states who finance police direct their affairs.

Addressing an expanded meeting of the State Security Council which held at the Council Chambers of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House on Tuesday, el-Rufai said clerics such as Sheikh Ahmed Gumi can preach to bandits to help change them, but his job was not to negotiate with bandits but to enforce the law and prosecute offenders.  

The meeting apart from the regular members from the state government, security agencies and traditional rulers, also featured religious leaders and invited guests from professional associations, trade unions and civil society groups.

“We will not engage with bandits or kidnappers. Private citizens like clerics and clergy men can do so in their individual capacities, to preach to them and ask them to repent. We also want them to repent but it is not our job to ask them to do so.

“The best way to solve the farmer-herder clashes, cattle rustling and banditry is for nomadic herdsmen to live more sedentary lives in order for them to be more productive and give their children education and access to better healthcare. 
“Nomadic or transhumance cattle breeding has been rendered obsolete by urbanization and population growth as most of the cattle routes have been taken over by development. 
“Kaduna state government is implementing a big ranching project in Damau Grazing Reserve in Kubau local government. The project will make about 1,500 herdsmen sedentary. The project will enable the herders to raise their cattle in a facility with pastures, a school and a primary health centre, with a commercial partner ready to buy their milk,” he said.
El-Rufai called for decentralisation of the police force, noting that Nigeria is the only federation that operates a unitary police force that is funded by but not controlled by state governments. 
He however, commended the security agents for all their efforts to keep Kaduna state residents safe, in spite of the challenges that they are facing.