From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi have charged the people of Kebbi, particularly local hunters and vigilantes, to be ready to defend Nigerian territory and states against frequent attacks by bandits.
The governors stated this on Saturday in Birnin Kebbi while addressing hundreds of local hunters, vigilantes groups from different parts of the state who stormed the Kebbi State Government House to declare their readiness to wage war against bandits.
An emotional Bagudu told the hunters that he and other governors are ready to be on the battle field to defend the lives of the people, their property and territories of the country.
According to him, ‘we are not military yet, we are not police. We commend and respect what the security agencies are doing and they are doing a great job. But sometimes, security are human being. They also want the community support. They want the support from the vigilantes. So if we can go to campaign rally and gathered 100,000 people. What has taken place in Birnin Yauri, should be the last strike.
‘We should follow these bandits wherever they are and kill them all. And I call on all my colleagues in other states too. How many are they? How many of us can they killed? So,we would discuss with the security agencies and so that we don’t interfere into the commendable jobs they are doing.
‘But, we would go out there,like I promised you, on the day we move out,I will not be in office. I will join you in the field. And I am sure other governors will be leading their people so that we can all meet in the fields.
‘It is not the weapons that win the war, it is the will of the people. Bad people cannot tramp upon the will of good people. And we would show them that we have the will power.
‘President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies have being doing their best with limited resources. But we need to mobilise ourselves and take on on these bandits.
‘Yes, we are afraid of death, nobody want to die. Who with not died? We are afraid not to be hunt,who will not be hunt? Which one is more tragic? To die like a coward? I think that should be the greatest gear or to die without faith? Because, as the people of faiths,we know that our scriptures, both Christians and Muslims, especially Muslims,Islam teaches us to put our lives at risk in defending our honours,or our properties or our faith.
‘In all what these bandits are doing to us, they have challenged our faiths,our properties and our honours and we can’t allow them to go. So, go back to your communities and mobilise your people because I will get clearance from the security and we would meet them on the field.’
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, who is also Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), charged the hunters and people of the state to use all power within their possession to end bandits attack in the state.
‘Our Governor (Bagudu) has put on good fight. That is the demonstration of his commitment to the welfare of his people. We know,we would overcome these challenges. There are lessons from it, for our own states too where we have federal government colleges and we have ordinary schools belonging to the state.
‘And we must protect our children, we must protect our people. Because, our first job as the governors is the security and welfare of our people. And God Almighty will be with us to realise the objective of protecting our people in sha Allahu.’
Jigawa Governor Abubakar Badaru, who also accompanied Fayemi, charged the local hunters to use all power within their possession to rescue and defeat bandits terrorising the state.
Leaders of the hunters from various local government areas of the state who spoke declared their readiness to rally thousands of their people to defend the lives and territories of the state and Nigeria if they are given opportunity.