Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, has expressed the fear of the North-West region concerning insecurity, saying the residents dread the possible relocation of Boko Haram terrorists to the region.
Governor El-Rufai said this during the inaugural edition of the ‘Fountain Summit’, an event organised by the Ekiti State government, on Thursday.
According to him, the terrorists are under fire from the Nigerian military as well as being troubled by superiority rival with the Islamic State Province of West Africa (ISWAP) in the North-East region, and may, therefore, decide to move to the North-West region for shelter.
He called on all Nigerians should be concerned about security issues, irrespective of which region is more affected by insecurity.
Governor El-Rufai said: “We have security challenges, but our investors know where their assets are and they know that those assets are safe and we’ve never seen the headlines of security affecting our inflow of investments.
“But we must work on improving security or more than that, we must stop this ‘us versus them’ mentality and collaborate more closely.
“Remember once upon a time, Boko Haram was only in north-east. Now, the biggest fear we have in the north-west is that they are relocating to the north-west because they are being chased out from the north-east by ISWAP.
“When they are chased out of the north-west, where do you think they will come? Somewhere else. It is something we should all be concerned about; not only federal and state collaboration, but also across the country.
“Don’t see what is happening in Kaduna and say it is not my problem. It will be your problem one day, unless it is solved.”
The governor also stated that the perception of the recent attacks in Kaduna State as portrayed in the media is different from the reality on the ground.
He explained that it is nearly impossible for over just 11,000 police officers to maintain law and order in a state as vast as Kaduna.
He said: “There is a major difference between security in headlines and security in facts. Kaduna state has 46,000 square kilometres of land.
“I joke with my south-east governor friends that the whole of five states of the south-east can fit into Kaduna state, two and the half times.
“This is the size of the state. We are smaller than Niger state; we are smaller than Borno state. To cover that kind of area with 11,000 policemen is almost impossible.
“So there are many ungovernable spaces in our state. But you see, when an incident occurs in one part of the state, remotely connected with what is happening in Kaduna or Zaria or in the metropolitan centres, people think the entire Kaduna state is unsafe.
“It is not true. Kaduna is not Lagos. One local government area in Kaduna — Birnin Gwari local government area — is three times the size of Lagos state. So, when something happens in Ikeja, it doesn’t mean that Epe is affected. It is the same thing, but even larger in Kaduna state.”