By Umar Salam.
Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai Monday warned bandits to steer clear of the state as the farming season is about to commence, or face death.
The governor gave the warning while speaking to farmers during the roll out of seed distribution to farmers for the 2020 planting season by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Kaduna.
Promising to keep the state safe for all citizens, the governor said he would not engage in any form of dialogue or negotiations with the bandits.
“We won’t talk to them, we are going to wipe them out by the grace of God through the combined operations of the Nigerian Air Force, Army and Police.
“We are working round the clock to ensure that these bandits are wiped out before the raining season advances.
”We will stop the banditry or they will die, we will kill them all and no apology for doing that,” the governor said.
Specifically assuring the people of Igabi, Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru and Chukun local government areas, places where the bandits mostly operate, Elrufai said the government would ensure their protection and restoration of normalcy.
Commending President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural policy, the governor noted that the document was the reason Nigeria got on the path of self-sufficiency in many agricultural products such as rice, maize and many others.
”I don’t know where Nigeria would have been amidst this coronavirus pandemic if we still needed to import food from abroad,“ he noted.
The governor also expressed appreciation to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the National Assembly for providing the needed support which enabled the agricultural policy to thrive.
“We have seen the impact of Federal Government policies on rural income, a major contribution to security.
“Because when people have money in their pockets they tend to live in peace: so we must congratulate the federal ministry of agriculture and Mr. President for the policy consistency in agricultural sector from 2015 to date,” Elrufai said.
He assured the ministry of the state government’s willingness to cooperate with it on any agricultural programme, so that farmers in the state derive maximum benefits from it.
He described the issue of agricultural mechanization as very essential to ensuring food security.
“Even with the improved seedlings this government is giving, greater access to fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide, we need to multiply our production and productivity through investment in mechanization and extension workers.
“On our part, I will like to inform the minister that here in Kaduna we already have a tractor assembly plant, and with private sector partners, we are raising the level of tractorization in the state so that every farmer will have access to a tractor when he needs it,” the governor said.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono who was the special guest at the event flagged off the distribution of the agricultural inputs to farmers in the state.