Stop Playing Politics With Our Lives – Northern Leaders Warn FG Over Secret Negotiations With Bandits

Stop Playing Politics With Our Lives – Northern Leaders Warn FG Over Secret Negotiations With Bandits

Northern leaders and stakeholders in the north have warned the Federal Government to stop playing politics with their lives following allegations that some government officials secretly negotiated with bandits in Zamfara without involving the state government.

Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara had accused the Federal Government of sabotaging the ongoing fight against banditry in the state by negotiating with bandits behind his administration. 

The governor, therefore, warned that negotiating with bandits in Zamfara was a grave mistake and not the solution to the problem, adding that it would only encourage and embolden the criminals.

Their reactions, some leaders in the north expressed outrage that the Federal Government could negotiate with bandits, which had never worked before and cautioned the government against such a move. 

They argued that by engaging in talks with bandits, the government was indirectly legitimizing their criminal activities and creating a dangerous cycle of appeasement, adding that the move sent a troubling message that crime and violence can be rewarded rather than punished.

In his reaction, the spokesman of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Prof. Tukur Muhammad-Baba, argued that such negotiations weaken the rule of law and establish a dangerous precedent for other criminal elements in the country. 

He expressed fear that this approach might inspire other groups to take up arms and engage in similar acts. 

Also, the Executive Director of the Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education, Dr Ibrahim Zikirullahi, expressed his disappointment and called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to restructure the military and ensure it regained its lost glory.

He said: “That singular act is a complete failure of the governance system in Nigeria because what it presents is that our security is no longer having the capability to deal with the insurgency, and they are no longer trusted to do their work. And it’s almost like Nigeria is going into the abyss.”

In his reaction, the National President of Middle Belt Forum, Dr Bitrus Pogu, said: “Firstly, it is wrong for any government to negotiate with bandits, terrorists or any insurgents in a country. 

“It is an indication that we are not really sincere about the whole thing because here are people who are fighting against the state, and we have a military whose duty is to protect the territorial integrity of the country, and then secretly, at the back, you start negotiating. 

“It is unfortunate, and that may be one of the reasons this insecurity has not ended. Because the bandits believe that they are strong enough to force the government to negotiate with them.”

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