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Governor’s Accusation Sparks Controversy: Federal Government Denies Secret Bandit Negotiations



Governor's Accusation Sparks Controversy: Federal Government Denies Secret Bandit Negotiations

Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal, has drawn criticism from Sani Shinkafi, the former Chairman of the Committee on Prosecution of Bandits Related Offenses, over Lawal’s accusations against the Federal Government concerning the abduction of students from the state’s Federal University.

Shinkafi, in a statement made on Wednesday, characterized Lawal’s allegation that the federal government held secret meetings with the kidnappers as “out of context.” Also Read:

Earlier this week, Governor Lawal alleged that his administration possessed credible evidence indicating that some federal government officials had clandestine interactions with bandits in Zamfara State. He also claimed that certain agencies under the Bola Tinubu-led government had engaged in covert negotiations with the bandits after his administration rejected negotiating with criminals.

In a statement by his spokesperson, Sulaiman Bala Idris, the governor emphasized that these government agencies had negotiated with the bandits without informing the state government or other security agencies. Consequently, Lawal called for a thorough and immediate investigation by the Tinubu government into these covert negotiations.

In response to these allegations, the Federal Government refuted any involvement in secret negotiations with bandits in Zamfara, asserting that the claims were baseless.

Reacting to the controversy, Sani Shinkafi, appearing on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ program on Wednesday, asserted that “the state governor accusing the Federal Government of negotiating with the bandits is out of context.” He urged against politicizing matters related to the safety and security of citizens and their property.

Governor’s Accusation Sparks Controversy: Federal Government Denies Secret Bandit Negotiations

Shinkafi emphasized that any severe government’s constitutional responsibility is to protect its citizens’ lives and property, which falls squarely within the purview of the Federal Government’s functions. Read More:

He also suggested Governor Lawal should appreciate the support of federal agencies like the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the military in tackling the state’s insecurity issues. Shinkafi acknowledged the challenges faced by the army in terms of equipment and personnel in the rugged terrain where they are combating bandits.

Shinkafi proposed a multi-pronged approach to addressing the insecurity issue, including a kinetic strategy involving entire military operations against banditry and a non-kinetic process involving the engagement of respected members of society to prevent collateral damage, reduce insecurity and foster peace in the state.

In conclusion, the exchange between Governor Lawal and Sani Shinkafi underscores the complexity of addressing security challenges in Zamfara State and the importance of a coordinated, non-partisan approach to resolving these issues for the well-being of the people.

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