CAN cautions El-Rufai on use of foreign mercenaries to tackle insecurity
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Saturday cautioned the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, against hiring foreign mercenaries to fight insecurity in the state.
The CAN Chairman in the state, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, who made the call in a statement in Kaduna, said the move would create a bigger problem in the country.
Hayab was reacting to an earlier statement credited to the governor on the planned hiring of foreign mercenaries to tackle the Boko Haram insurgents and bandits wreaking havoc in the North-East and North-West parts of the country.
El-Rufai, who addressed State House correspondents shortly after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, said, given the worsening security situation, governors would have no choice but to take action to protect the lives and property of their people.
However, the CAN argued that the plan would undermine the President and the security agencies.
Hayab said: “The attention of CAN in Kaduna State has been drawn to newspapers stories making rounds that Governor Nasir El-Rufai, threatened to deploy foreign mercenaries should the federal government fail to combat banditry and end terrorism.
“While CAN agrees that terrorists have had a field day, CAN reckons that if any other Nigerian had made or muted such an idea in public space, such would have been accused or arrested by the government for undermining the security agencies and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
“We doubt if any section of the Nigerian Constitution allows any officeholder, apart from the C-in-C, to invite a foreign combatant into the country.
“Moreover, it was a similar strategy that El-Rufai employed years back when he claimed to have compensated some herdsmen, which led to the escalation of the security situation, particularly in Kaduna State.
“For CAN, the approach to give gunmen money so that they would stop attacking the populace has backfired and Kaduna State is paying dearly for such a miscalculation at present.
“CAN acknowledges that what Nigeria needs currently is a sincerity of purpose from all stakeholders and the citizenry towards finding lasting solutions, not subjective statements that could further heighten the presence of bandits in Nigeria.”
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