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Bandits bought arms with the money we paid them.

Ex-Katsina SSG tells Tinubu.



Ex-Katsina SSG tells Tinubu.

Inuwa said this while narrating his experience as the Chairman of the amnesty programme to end banditry in Katsina State under former governor Bello Massari.

Recently, a former Zamfara State governor, Senator Sani Yarima, proposed to Tinubu that negotiating with bandits, especially those operating in Zamfara State, offered the fastest way to end insecurity in the northern region.

However, Inuwa said offering to sit at the negotiation table with the criminals would be futile because the lucrative nature of kidnapping would make it impossible for bandits to change their ways.

He maintained that the bandits can’t earn the money they get from their criminal enterprise from any legitimate endeavour.

Therefore, he urged the government to use force to bring the bandits to their knees while calling for concerted efforts by security agencies and the respective Governors of problem states.

He said, “I believe it is the wrong advice for a former governor and senator, especially from a state worst hit by the activities of bandits, to contemplate negotiating with the bandits despite the atrocities committed by them in these states and Nigeria.

“We tried from 2017 to 2019, but it didn’t work because they are insincere. We were compelled to go into that because we realized the security agencies were not doing what they ought to do.

“So we were under severe pressure from the people as they looked up to us to bring the menace to an end. And that was why we settled for the non-kinetic approach. It lasted for a brief period before it failed.

“It failed because, one, they were not sincere and second, because they are not organized and don’t have everyday leaders whom, if you negotiate, can serve as their representatives.

Bandits bought arms with the money we paid them.

“They have a rivalry and different groups. It is unlike when you are fighting a group on ideology, where they have a typical leader, where you negotiate with him, and he leads them. It is not that way. Bandits have different groups. How many will you deal with? Dealing with some groups and leaving out others will create problems. And different groups are emerging daily.

“And also, these people are thieves and criminals; if you negotiate with them, what will you give them? Will you be giving them a salary or what? Then people are used to getting vast sums of money, especially with these kidnapping activities.

So there is nothing legitimate they can do to get something close to what they are getting through the kidnapping activities.”


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