El-Rufai made this known during a town hall meeting on national security on Thursday organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture held in Kaduna with the theme: "Setting Benchmark for Enhanced and National Unity in Nigeria”.
"The bandits are at war with Nigeria and there is no other way to approach the current insurgency but for security forces to take the war to the bandits and recover forests where they are occupying.
“The security agencies mostly react to cases of banditry and abduction, we are in a war with these terrorists challenging the sovereignty of the Nigerian state.
“Our security forces must collaborate to take the war to the bandits and terrorists, recover and restore the forest to enable our law-abiding citizens to engage in legitimate farming and livestock production."
El-Rufai stated that no one in a position of responsibility could deny the need for sustained action against criminals, adding that security operations that were more proactive would cripple the outlaws and reassure ordinary citizens.
He said that government must Identify and deal with nonstate actors and others challenging the existence of the country.
The governor advised that security forces should be increased and be well equipped to deal with the insurgency, adding that the judiciary must also be decentralized to serve justice.
“To address the banditry prevalent in the northwest and north-central, we must implement the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) produced four years ago to enable accelerated investment in modern animal husbandry, incorporating the rapid sedentarisation of herders in known locations”, he said.
The NLTP provides a framework and strategic direction to transform the Nigerian livestock sector and eliminate farmer-herder conflict by evolving and strengthening intensive livestock production systems, with the aim of making the sector more productive and sustainable.
The NLTP prioritizes key areas of intervention into a comprehensive framework to modernize and transform the livestock sector into an important instrument for rapid economic growth and diversification in Nigeria.
The various elements of the NLTP are arranged around five pillars – addressing conflicts, improving access to justice and peace, addressing the needs of affected populations, human capital development, as well as cross-cutting issues of gender, youth, research, information, and strategic communication.