The Ekiti state governor and chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi in Friday led a two-man delegation to Kaduna, to commiserate with the government and people of the state on the recent Abuja – Kaduna train attack, which claimed many lives, injured many people while several others were kidnapped.
Addressing the state governor, Nasiru El Rufai, the NGF Chairman expressed deep sympathy to Kaduna State and its people and described the attack as “mind-boggling” because of the huge number of casualties and other fatalities.
Regrettably, he added, the criminals were audacious enough to also take away some hostages which according to the NGF Chairman raises the state of insecurity in the region to the cusp of uncertainties, which has virtually thrown Kaduna in the mix.
The Ekiti governor wondered if the entire crime was the handwork of some enemies of the state government or its Governor who is transforming the state to their chagrin and is therefore working to distract the state from its path to development.
Fayemi rued that everything is currently unnecessarily revolving around 2023, the election year, which we are not even sure we will be alive to see with the prevailing state of circumstances, and advised that more should be done towards securing the country.
He said the Northwest of the country had been a region of calm and consensus before now and emphasized that whatever it is, to do, Governors will continue to put heads together along with the President whom he added is himself very worried about the sequence of attacks to bring sanity back to the country.
Dr Fayemi also concurred with the Kaduna governor on his solution to banditry in which he has always advocated that Government takes proactive action by going after the bandits right in their enclaves and rooting them out.
“I agree that we as governors must join hands with the President to deal ruthlessly with the bandits, that they be crushed, as you have always advocated”, concluding that the primary purpose of government is ensuring the safety of lives and property but the impression in the minds of most Nigerians presently is that nothing is being done by the security agencies in the country to bring an end to this.
“We are here to commiserate with you, your Government, and the people of Kaduna State, to show solidarity with them and align with the Governor who as a public servant all his life, has been a focused leader from who “we must learn, to ensure peace in our communities.”
Before announcing a donation of N50 million to victims of the attack, the NGF chairman admonished el Rufai not to relent in his efforts at building the state and told him to continue to be the leader that he has always been, concluding emphatically, that regardless of whatever anyone thinks, “Nigeria is worth dying for.”
El-Rufai, who looked emotional during the discussion welcomed the party and ceded the opportunity to respond to his deputy, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, whom he said has been in the forefront of finding solutions to the problem from the beginning.
The deputy governor also welcomed the delegation to Kaduna State and called the train attack a demoralizing experience which she prayed the state never witnessed again.
She said the NGF and its members have been such good friends whose support the state values and places high premium on.
She pledged that the Kaduna state government will continue to do its best in supporting the security forces in the state to accomplish the task of securing lives and property while still working hard to find lasting solutions to the problem, in such a way that it never repeats itself.
When he finally spoke, el Rufai disclosed that there were 61 Kaduna indigenes still recuperating from the train attack, including a top government official and his 8-months pregnant wife, and further stated that the bandits are currently hiding somewhere in Niger State.
El Rufai regretted that the attack was avoidable because the state government had tipped the Nigeria Railways.
By Fadhlillah Abdallah el-Kurebe,