1. Let me begin by welcoming the distinguished guests who have joined us this afternoon for the presentation of the Kaduna State Annual Security Report for 2022 and the State Security Report for the first quarter of 2023.
2. These reports on the security situation in the State present detailed data on the persistence of the security challenges in our state. Though grim, these reports are published in fulfilment of the obligation of transparency that the government owes the residents of this state. Just as they have a right to updates on the progress in investments, revenue generation and other happy events, citizens have legitimate expectations to be provided with consistently accurate accounts of what is going on and on the measures being taken to address security challenges.
3. The two reports just presented by Samuel Aruwan, our Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, indicates the persistence of security challenges, including terrorism, banditry, and the unfortunate toll in killings, kidnappings, injuries and threats to the livelihoods of our people. We regret the pain and losses, pray for the repose of the souls of those killed, pay tribute to the victims of various crimes and reiterate our solidarity with them.
4. As the statistics presented show, there has been some slight year-on-year improvement in fatalities and other incidences of criminality across the State between 2021 and 2022. We hope that with your combined efforts, this downward trend will continue towards zero in the shortest possible time.
5. The Kaduna State Government does its level best to prevent these sad events through institutional measures and pragmatic actions on the ground. These measures include persistent pressures on the Federal Government to launch comprehensive and sustained military operations against the terrorists and criminal elements that are menacing our people and their lives, liberty and livelihoods.
6. We note with gratitude that the military initiated offensive security operations against the bandits in the last half of 2022. As observed earlier, this helped to improve the security situation in many of our communities but these operations must obviously be widened and sustained as the most effective way to protect our people and uphold law and order.
7. We thank the Federal Government for finally authorising the launch of these combined military and police offensives. We commend the military and security forces for their efforts and sacrifices as they work to uproot the criminals. I wish to stress that in this region, this vital mission requires a comprehensive and consistent sweep, across the Northwest and Niger states for sustained success.
8. We appeal for an escalation of security operations over the 39 days remaining till the end of the tenure of this administration and beyond so that the change of baton at the federal level does not result in a dangerous lull that criminal outlaws can exploit. There is every reason to intensify and sustain simultaneous ground and air kinetic actions across the seven frontline states of the Northwest region and Niger which have continuous and contiguous forest ranges and are most heavily impacted by this security challenge.
9. On our part, the Kaduna State Government will continue to do everything within the powers of a state to enhance security. We have invested considerable resources and energy in managing security to the extent that the Constitution of our nation permits a subnational. Our interventions since 2015 include supporting the federal security agencies deployed in our state with vehicles and other logistics, collaborating with other frontline states to fund military operations in the 2015-2016 period and investments in security infrastructure and technology. The lessons learnt in the 2016-2019 period informed our decision to establish the first sub-national Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs at the beginning of our second-term in 2019.
10. The mandate of the Ministry is to manage the state government’s relationship with the federal security agencies deployed in the state and to coordinate their activities towards securing our people in an atmosphere of unprecedented challenges. This entails building strong relationships with these agencies. Through the Ministry, the state is deepening intelligence gathering from communities. It also runs the 24-hour Security Operations Room.
11. But the extent of interventions in security by the State Government can do is constitutionally limited. The Federal Government has to more vigorously exercise its constitutional powers and urgently spearhead a national effort to strengthen our security forces. The Federal Government has to sustain the effort to promptly address the needs of the the SSS, military and police for modern technology, advanced armaments, equipment and more boots on the ground.
12. We are grateful to the security agencies, particularly the Army, Air Force, Navy, Police, Civil Defence, SSS, our State Vigilance Service, FRSC, NDLEA and KASTLEA for constant collaboration with our Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs in the hard work of securing the state.
13. Let me at this juncture, extend our sincere gratitude to our Emirs and Chiefs, and other community leaders for being the leading and influential anchors of peaceful coexistence and intelligence-gathering in our various urban and rural communities. Our State Peace Commissioners and the House of Kaduna Family deserve exceptional recognition and our gratitude for their efforts in peacemaking and peace-building.
14. The security reports presented today are the last set I would be receiving as governor of Kaduna State. We would be passing the baton to Senator Uba Sani in 39 days. I have no doubt that he would continue the engagements with the Federal Government to decentralise policing, put more boots on the ground and significantly improve the equipment and technology deployed in the security sector.
15. I wish to conclude by recognizing all the GOCs, AOCs, Garrison Commanders, Base Commanders, Naval Commandants, Commissioners of Police, State Directors of Security and other security agency heads that have all worked very hard to make Kaduna State a much safer place than it was before 2015. Their hard work and sacrifices contributed in no small way in making our citizens feel much safer.
16. Selective amnesia may lead people to forget the times when going to a mosque or a church were challenges, with suicide bombers terrorizing people in Kaduna metropolis, highways that were unsafe, with blockages at will, and ethno—religious crises that have led to the total shutdown of our State. While we are not where we want to be in terms of human security, the days when it takes 3 hours to drive from Kaduna to Zaria, and travellers transiting through our state fear that Gonin Gora is a continuous source of peril, are gone, I hope forever.
17. Let me welcome our new GOC Major-General Olufemi Akinjobi back to Kaduna, and conclude by paying tribute to his immediate predecessor, Major-General Taoreed Lagbaja for his hands-on leadership in addressing the security challenges in our state in the short period of stewardship. We wish General Akinjobi a successful tenure leading the premier division of the Nigerian Army.
18. We are sad to lose the brilliant and committed to Brigadier-General Opurum to another posting in the North-East. We wish General Opurum the best in his career, and thank him for the hard work of the officers and men of Operation Safe Haven that has made the Kaduna South Senatorial District a quieter place. We note with concern the continued failure of traditional and community leaders in Zangon Kataf Chiefdom to prevent resort to self-help by recalcitrant youths, and assure you all that we will take some actions to send a message in this regard.
19. We pray for journey mercies to you all, thank you for your time and God Bless you all. God Bless Kaduna State. God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai
19th April 2023
To download a copy of the reports, please click on the links below:
ANNUAL SECURITY REPORT 2022
KADUNA STATE SECURITY REPORT Q1 2023