By Suleiman Umaru
When Nasir El-Rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, during Presiden Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency and now governor of the north west state of Kaduna, withdrew his children from a public school in Kaduna , last two years when security operatives intercepted two Bandit groups planning to attack the school and kidnap Abubakar El-Rufai, his six year-old son many people knew that there was fire on the mountain.
The one –time fearless governor of Kaduna state had confirmed to the BBC, Housa service in an interview on Friday, July 2, 2021, that he had withdrawn his children from a public school in Kaduna when information filtered out that the plot by the two Bandit groups and their agents to attack the public school was targeted at Abubakar, his six year –old son to force him to pay a huge ransom to facilitate his release.
. This may have informed why he hurriedly in September , 2019, enrolled, the six year-old son and Nassrine, his younger sister, who also turned six years into Kaduna Capital school, a public school located in the heart of city, because of the tight security to escape the Bandits kidnap plot.
Instead of withdrawing the two children from the public school that is exposed to Bandits attack because of the lack of effective security, many had expected the governor to work closely with the security Chiefs in the state to tighten up security in the public schools when he noticed that the Bandits had turned their attention to attacking schools in order to kidnap pupils and students.
There is no gainsaying the fact that by withdrawing his two children from the public school in Kaduna because of lack of security around school to where there is tight security, he was sending a message to the people of the state that his concern is to ensure that his own children are protected in their schools, leaving other children exposed to the attack of the Bandits in their respective schools to their own fate.
Although, he had said that he withdrew his two children from the public school in order ‘’to show them Leadership to revamp public education in the state and make it more Competitive’’ as leaders, an indication that he was already preparing his own children, particular, his six year-old son for the Leadership position of the state in the future.
He was said to have further said that that his family ‘’took the decision to withdraw the son and the daughter from the public school in Kaduna on the advice of security agents, in order not to put the school at risk, of being attacked by Bandits, for ransom.
Given the tight security in the Kaduna Capital school, El-Rufai, the Kauna state governor had those that cares to listen, ‘’I don’t think they will succeed in their plot to kidnap my son because of the tight security in the Kaduna Capital school, where they are enrolled to prevent it’’.
An agitated governor El-Rufai, had said that the six –old son and the daughter are currently at home school and are only going to the Capital school, based on arrangement to write their exams. He is optimistic that the children would return back to the school as soon as the security situation in the state and the public school improves.
The continuous attack on schools in the state in the recent time has shown that the security situation has not improved and the hope of his two children going back to Capital school to continue their studies remain slim. He was said to have cried out to Farouk Yahaya, a Major General and Chief of Army Staff, COAS, to deploy more troops to the state to effectively wipe out the Bandits who are working closely with the Islamic Fundamentalist Group BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, to make the state ungovernable.
The Kaduna state governor’s fear of taking back the two children to Capital city public school may be justified as the security personnel have not found solution to stop kidnapping , meaning that no part of the state is safe from the Bandits attack.
Only recently, three Bandit gangs were said to have killed seven people and kidnapped ten others in separate attacks carried out in different Communities at Chikun, Kajuru and Giwa, described as flash point Local government areas in the state.
An eyewitness account at Iri station in Kajuru Local government had said that the Bandits in their tens had stormed the Community around 10.am armed with sophisticated weapons and were shooting indiscrimately, forcing the residents to run helter-skelter for their safety. He confirmed that he Bandits succeeded in abducting 10 persons from the Community to an unknown location while two other people were killed. The aggrieved Iri station resident would want Major General Yahaya, the COAS, to listen to the cry of El-Rufai, the state governor, to beef up security in the state by deploying more troops in the flashpoint Local government areas.
Samuel Aruwan, the state Commissioner for Internal security and Home Affairs, who was said to have led security operatives to the affected Communities in the three Local government s area on Saturday, July 2, 2021, had said that the government which is working closely with the security agencies will do everything possible to arrest the per perpetrators of the attack and the killings in the Communities in order to put a stop to it.
Despite the repeated attacks in Communities in the state by the Bandits to force the reluctant El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor to Negotiate with the Bandits to force them to sheath their sword and stop further attacks on the people, the governor , who may have been pushed to the wall had ‘’vowed that that he would not Negotiate with the Bandits or pay ransom to secure the release of the ten fresh abducted persons in the state.
Recall that the inseurity situation was so bad in Zamfara state, described as the home of the Bandits, that Bello Matawalle, the state, who has decamped from the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDPD, to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, on the promptings of President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, if he actually wants the support of the Federal government to effectively deal with the Bandits in the state, to have urged the people to defend themselves.
Even Aminu Masari, the governor of Katsina, the retired army General, home state had said that it is ridiculous that the people could not defend themselves but always crying out for government for support whenever the Bandits struck since they could no longer’’ rely on the police to do so’’.