Northwest governors threaten to turn to mercenaries if military continues to fail region

NEWS DIGEST – Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai said on Saturday that the northwest governors had become dissatisfied with the efforts of the Nigerian military to contain terrorism in the region and would hire the service of mercenaries should there be no improvement in security.

Kaduna state suffered a spate of terror attacks in the past week, most notably Monday’s bombing of a train headed for Kaduna from Abuja which took nine lives and has left many others missing and abducted.

“This issue has gotten to an alarming state,” said Mr El-Rufai, during a visit to the president to seek answers.

Mr El-Rufai told newsmen that the president has assured that the armed forces would quash the terror attacks within the region in a matter of months but should this not happen, the northwest governors would be content to import foreign mercenaries to come to the region’s aid.

“If our soldiers fail, I swear to God, we will do that,” he said.

Mr El-Rufai becomes the latest party to question the security architecture of the country after Mr Shehu Sani, on Thursday, suggested that Nigerians should now be allowed to bear arms to defend themselves.

“Why is it that up till now, the security operatives have not gone to kill them? Where are our soldiers? Why have they not done it?” Mr El-Rufai said.

Less than a day after the Monday train attack happened, gunmen attacked another railway station in Gidan, and the Kaduna state governor is convinced these attacks are intentionally orchestrated to disrupt the economy of Kaduna state and also the northwest ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“All these are happening in Kaduna because people are investing in Kaduna, that is what they want to stop, they want to spoil Kaduna, which is the nerve centre of the north — the nerve centre of Nigeria politics,” he said.

According to Mr El-Rufai, it’s in every Nigerian best interest to unite against these attacks and not think of the problem as only peculiar to the north.

“This thing can consume the entire Nigeria, because the way these people are getting money, the way they boast that they don’t fear authorities, they don’t fear the military, I don’t know why up till now the Nigerian military will not enter these forests and deal with these people,” he added.