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Governors More Political Than Conventional In Reconciling With Bandits- Ex-lawmaker

       Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle

Aminu Sani, former House of Representatives member for Kaura-Namoda/Birnin-Magaji Federal Constituency in Zamfara, has called for genuine and coordinated efforts by governors to tackle the spate of banditry and kidnapping in northern Nigeria.

Mr. Sani gave the advice on Thursday in Kaduna when he spoke to journalists on the country’s security challenges.

He said only genuine and non-partisan efforts would tackle the spate of banditry and kidnapping in states.

“Banditry and kidnapping have become a form of business; there are many chains and many people involved in it,” he noted.

“But the only fear that I have is that I know what it takes for somebody or an entity or group to canvass for issues of amnesty for bandits. Reconciliation with the bandits is one of the most difficult tasks, even for the government.

“I said it one time that, before you reconcile with people of that character, the fundamental thing you need to know about them is their strength, the motive, and the people or the channels that are involved in the crime.

“That means, you need to have privileged or intelligence information regarding how they operate, how they source materials, how they interact; how they relate, and how they engage, among others,” Mr. Sani added.

Speaking on the latest negotiations a Muslim cleric had with bandits, he pointed out, “I saw the way the Sheikh Gummi group was doing it, but for me, it is too local to be accepted because there is no way you operate in something like that.

“There are so many things that need to be involved. If they say they want to agree or they surrender to a scholar or to a group or whatsoever, how many weapons have they surrendered before you? Then, what about the sources of getting these weapons and other things.”

The former lawmaker, who was chairman of the House Committee on National Intelligence and Security, believed that dealing with bandits should not be left to individuals and groups to handle.

“Since banditry is now like a business, we have to manage them one by one, which an individual or group cannot do. It’s only the government that can do it. And I said it that majority of the governors that are engaged in reconciliation with these bandits are more political than conventional.

“So, this decision taken by Sheikh Gummi, I think there is the need for the security agencies and other governors to come together to conclude what he started.

“Because he has started what he cannot finish, people who know the intricacies of this banditry know where I am heading to.”


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