Why I’m Negotiating with Bandits – Matawalle
Zamfara Governor Bello Matawalle has justified his decision to negotiate with bandits terrorising the state.
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He said there are almost 30,000 bandits in 100 camps spread across the forests of Zamfara and five of its neighboring states.
The Governor said the bandits had killed 2,619 people, kidnapped 1,190 others and collected over N970 million ransoms between 2011 and 2019 in Zamfara alone.
Matawalle, who spoke through Commissioner of Information, Hon. Ibrahim Magaji Dosara at a briefing in Kaduna on Friday, however said his government chose the peace pact with the bandits to stop the wanton waste of innocent citizens’ lives and property.
Reeling out the achievements of the dialogue process, Zamfara Governor said: “As a result of the dialogue and peace process, over 62 bandits accepted and embraced the peace initiative.
“This is in addition to the release of over 2000 kidnapped victims aided and abetted by the repentant bandits.
“The repentant bandits are also helping in campaigning and convincing those bandits yet to accept the dialogue and reconciliation process to do so.
“They are also helping in the identification of the leaders of the recalcitrant bandits, including their camps and location for dialogue and reconciliation.”