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Boko Haram, Ansaru terrorists now in Kaduna forests – El-Rufai

Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Thursday said terrorist groups including Boko Haram and Ansaru have infiltrated Kaduna forests.

He therefore called on the military and security agencies to explore fresh strategies to tackle terrorists in the state before things get out of hands.

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El-Rufai, who stated this during the presentation of the security situation in Kaduna State for the first quarter of 2022 at Government House, Kaduna, said one of the released victims of Abuja-Kaduna train kidnapping told the state government that Boko Haram sees Kaduna forests as better than Sambisa and has called on all their members to relocate to Kaduna.

The governor urged security agencies to mount surveillance at Rigana, Kateri and Akilobu settlements, maintaining that the three settlements had become havens for criminal activities.

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In his words, “This presentation has brought new emerging concerns that I would want the security council to take note of and maybe discuss and proffer solutions. Great concern is the emergence of Boko Haram terrorist enclave as well as the activities of Ansaru, particularly in Birnin Gwari and Chikun LGAs.

“Among those kidnapped from the Abuja-Kaduna train was a former roommate and classmate of mine who was released upon payment of ransom. Throughout the period that he was in captivity, it was very clear that the terrorists were making comments like ‘the forests in Kaduna are even better than Sambisa and they should all relocate here’ and this is the area we should be very concerned about.

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“This is where we should be making a point: the problem of insecurity in the North East has moved to the North West. The situation in the North West is far more serious and could be potentially more dangerous and we would like the military and security agencies to take notice of this before it goes out of control.”

The governor warned patent medicine store owners against selling drugs to youths, threatening to demolish any building housing anyone found wanting.

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“In the continued mishap of Rigana, Kateri, Akilubo axis, in all these crimes, particularly the safety of Abuja-Kaduna Road, we have been exploring what to do with these three settlements, whether to relocate them near Kagarko, or to clear the whole settlements. I would like the security council to deliberate on this. There is something wrong with the three settlements,” the governor said.

Meanwhile, commissioner of internal security and home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, disclosed that 360 persons were killed by bandits/terrorists, communal clashes, violent and reprisal attacks between January and March this year in the state.

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He said of the number, 44 were women, while 11 were minors below the age of 18.

Aruwan added that Southern Kaduna Senatorial District recorded 139 deaths in the period under review, while the Kaduna Central Senatorial District recorded 214 deaths.

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According to him, 210 of these occurred in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, Chikun and Kajuru LGAs.

“Giwa LGA recorded 87 deaths, Igabi LGA 43, Chikun LGA 32, Birnin Gwari LGA 25 and Kajuru LGA recorded 23 deaths in the first quarter of 2022,” he said, noting that the Northern Senatorial District recorded seven deaths in the first quarter.

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Aruwan further revealed that 1,389 people were kidnapped between January and March this year, with Kaduna central senatorial district accounting for 1,083.

The commissioner said, “Southern Kaduna senatorial district recorded 249 kidnapped persons, with Kachia LGA reporting the highest number of 207. The Northern senatorial district recorded 57 kidnapped persons, with 29 of these from Zaria LGA. In total, 480 women and 79 minors were kidnapped in the first quarter across the state,” Aruwan stated.

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