Gov El-Rufai should under no circumstances succumb to criminal blackmail by the bandits who now seem determined to force his hands to negotiate with them for ransom.
The persistent attacks on Kaduna schools by the bandits reveal their specific goal: to force Gov El-Rufai to reverse his uncompromising stance on negotiating with criminals for ransom.
The long term consequences of rewarding criminals are by far more dangerous than the perceived short-term benefits of paying ransom to bandits. These thugs are not keen about disarmament. Their goal is fast money by criminal means.
It’s therefore naive to think you can buy peace with money. Bandits are blackmailers; we have got to a point where the government must flex its muscles beyond the usual threats and tell them enough is enough.
You can never get peace from the bully by running away and crying on every occasion he molests you. You must stand up and fight; if you don’t, he gets bolder and crueller, and attacks you more and more because there are no consequences.
Passivity feeds aggression. Brutal force is the only language the criminal can understand. You can’t afford passivity if you’re dealing with criminal gangs that are not ready to give up their violent ways.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has taught the world the meaning of decisiveness and toughness in dealing with criminals. He taught outlaws that the supremacy of the law must prevail. The day the criminals prevail, law and order will be forced into retreat, thus making us unsafe. Criminals rule by fear and violence. The state must tackle them with superior force.
Na’alla Muhammad Zagga is Public Affairs Analyst