Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has alleged that his Kaduna counterpart, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, is either misunderstood or ill-informed on the north’s insecurity.
In an interview with BBC, El-Rufai had said the lack of synergy on how to tackle banditry is fuelling it.
But speaking on Radio France International on Thursday, Ganduje said he once talked to El-Rufai and the governor of Bauchi State on how to tackle insecurity.
He said he initiated the conversation based on the advice of security agents on how Falgore forest in Kano could be made safe for other states’ benefits.
Ganduje said Bauchi and Kaduna governments sent representatives to a meeting where insecurity was discussed and strategies adopted, wondering what prompted El-Rufai’s remark.
“First of all, on the talk about lack of synergy, I don’t see where this statement is coming from. Security agents advised us that Kano, Kaduna and Bauchi should send representatives to Kano to discuss how to address issues in Falgore forest and see how bandits are checked from using it.
“I spoke with Kaduna, Bauchi governors and they sent representatives and all the states mobilised resources and work were carried out therein and it was successful. I don’t see where lack of synergy sets in.
“To me, I think he (el-Rufai) doesn’t understand the issue very well. Every security challenge depends on its peculiarity. No matter our cooperation, how we tackle insecurity differs… In Kaduna, there are ethnic and religious issues. This is Kaduna’s issue; every security challenge in each state depends on the state’s efforts and security agents with its people.
“Like in Kano here, we have a harmonious working relationship with security agencies. We have state-of-the-art security gadgets. In Dansoshiya forest, we are building houses to accommodate Fulani herders in a bid to stop them from grazing in the southern part of the country.”
Ganduje also spoke of how the intrusion of foreign herders into the country is compounding insecurity.
He added, “In Falgore forest, there is an ongoing project of a military training camp. In the project, there is a provision for areas where Fulani herders would be accommodated.
“We have enough places to accommodate Fulani herders in Dansoshiya and Falgore forests. To prevent them from grazing in the southern part of the country is the only panacea to the lingering crisis. There are three categories of Fulani. There are Fulani, there are herders, and there are foreign Fulani herders who commit crimes.
“It is often forgotten that there are foreigners among Fulani herders. Nobody is talking about them. The moment a foreign Fulani herder invades Nigeria and commits a crime, he would be considered as Nigerian Fulani. Therefore, we need to ban them from entering Nigeria.
“Secondly, those herders travelling from the north to south should be banned. Those that are saying they should not be banned from trekking to the southern part of the country for grazing should use their children to do so.”
He said grazing is a national issue and there ought to be a bill from the National Assembly to solve the perennial farmer-herder conflict.