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Boko Haram is relocating to north-west, says Nasir El-Rufai

Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai has stated that the north-west region is worried over the possibility of Boko Haram insurgents relocating from the north-east.

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This was stated on Thursday by the state governor during the inaugural edition of the ‘Fountain Summit’, an event organised by the Ekiti government.

Recall that in May, leader of the Boko Haram group, Abubakar Shekau had been reportedly killed by the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a breakaway faction of Boko Haram.

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Although there had been previous announcements of the death of Shekau, since May, there haven’t been public video appearances of the Boko Haram leader.

El-Rufai further stated that all Nigerians should be concerned about security issues, irrespective of which region is more affected by insecurity.

El-Rufai added that although Kaduna is facing security challenges, investors are aware that their assets are safe.

“We have security challenges, but our investors know where their assets are and they know that those assets are safe and we’ve never seen the headlines of security affecting our inflow of investments,” he said.

“But we must work on improving security or more than that, we must stop this ‘us versus them’ mentality and collaborate more closely.

“Remember once upon a time, Boko Haram was only in north-east. Now, the biggest fear we have in the north-west is that they are relocating to the north-west because they are being chased out from the north-east by ISWAP.

“When they are chased out of the north-west, where do you think they will come? Somewhere else. It is something we should all be concerned about; not only federal and state collaboration, but also across the country.

“Don’t see what is happening in Kaduna and say it is not my problem. It will be your problem one day, unless it is solved.”

Speaking further on security issues in Kaduna, the governor said there is a major difference between what is reported and how it reflects the realities in the entire state.

“There is a major difference between security in headlines and security in facts. Kaduna state has 46,000 square kilometres of land,” he said.

“I joke with my south-east governor friends that the whole of five states of the south-east can fit into Kaduna state, two and the half times.

“This is the size of the state. We are smaller than Niger state; we are smaller than Borno state. To cover that kind of area with 11,000 policemen is almost impossible.

“So there are many ungovernable spaces in our state. But you see, when an incident occurs in one part of the state, remotely connected with what is happening in Kaduna or Zaria or in the metropolitan centres, people think the entire Kaduna state is unsafe.

“It is not true. Kaduna is not Lagos. One local government area in Kaduna — Birnin Gwari local government area — is three times the size of Lagos state. So, when something happens in Ikeja, it doesn’t mean that Epe is affected. It is the same thing, but even larger in Kaduna state.”

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