The Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has warn the governors of the 19 northern states and traditional rulers in the region not to allow any emergence of new Sambisas in the region that provide safe refuge for outlaws such as the cover which the vast forest provided by Boko Haram terrorists.
The governor made this known in a while speaking in remarks at the meeting of the Northern governors’ forum held in Kaduna on Thursday, the host governor noted that armed robbery, kidnapping and cattle rustling are headquartered in these ungoverned forest ranges.
He stated that the region should point the way forward with specific proposals that strengthen the country while devolving powers to the states and local governments, as well as outlining views on the question of constitutional arrangements of the country.
According to El-Rufai, “Your Excellencies, your royal highnesses, the challenges before us are immense. We commend the resilience of our communities in the North-East which have begun the process of recovery from the ravages of insurgency. But security remains a challenge across our states.
“The frequency and savagery of communal clashes in some of our states, and the prevalence of untoward phenomena such as rural banditry, cattle-rustling and kidnapping need to be tackled.
“The festering sores left by previous conflicts in which proper closure, accountability for crimes and reconciliation were not affected appear to be accelerating a descent into impunity and a situation in which many elites are too short-sighted to recognise the dangers of embroiling our communities in repeated cycles of violence.
“The message needs to go out to our communities that peace requires a determination to have peace, sustain peace and protect it. There is no humane alternative to choosing to resolve all differences by exclusively peaceful and legal means. Our region is the most diverse area in our vast country.
“It cannot afford the ghastly luxury of transforming differences in religion, language and culture into sources of conflict, death and destruction. Your Excellencies, Your Royal Highnesses, we need to challenge our elite to stop the commodification of difference and unite our peoples for development and prosperity”.