Banditry is a business in the Northern part of the country, Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State has said.
Mr El-rufai said this is why the federal government has not moved against the criminals who have resorted to abducting school children for ransom.
He said the government has not swiftly moved against bandits because they are not demanding secession like Nnamdi Kanu, detained leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) is doing.
Mr Kanu, who fled the country after the military raided his home in Abia State in 2017, was arrested and extradited back to the country from Kenya, according to his younger brother, Emmanuel.
Speaking on the development, the Kaduna helmsman said he was happy when interviewed on Friday by BBC pidgin.
“I was very happy (when Nnamdi Kanu was arrested) because, first he jumped bail, jeopardising his sureties,” Mr El-rufai said. “Secondly, a person that challenges the sovereignty and the authority of a state and incites violence; he refers to his own country as a zoo.
“This should be a message to all these separatists challenging the authority of the Nigerian State to be very careful,” he said.
He faulted people criticising the government for not going after Boko Haram terrorists and bandits the way it has responded to secessionists in the Southern part of the nation.
“No! No! No! No! People are comparing apples to oranges,” the governor said. “Nnamdi Kanu is the leader of IPOB, a proscribed organisation. He is identifiable, in constant communication and everyone knows where he is.
“Let’s take Boko Haram for instance. Shekau was in hiding and for the past 10 years and the military had been waging a war to get him.
“It is not like Shekau was in Saudi Arabia, sitting in one place, tweeting about the break up of Nigeria or asking Boko Haram to go and kill Helen and Nasir el-Rufai.
“Nnamdi Kanu is in one place while Shekau is waging guerrilla warfare. The insurgency is still going on and the Federal Government is not giving up.
“Regarding bandits, they are not centralised under one leadership. Who is the head of the bandits? Who is the equivanlent of Nmandi Kanu with banditry?
“Bandits are just collections of independent criminals. It is a business for them. It is not a case of Nigeria must break up.
“I want to challenge anyone to tell me the central leader of bandits in the same position as Kanu,” he dared.