President Muhammadu Buhari has bluntly ruled out the possibility of his administration to grant Amnesty to bandits pledging that his administration will deal with bandits, kidnappers and all forms of criminality in the country.
The president represented by his Chief of staff, Prof. Ibraham Gambari, stated this on Thursday, February 25, 2020 while declaring open a joint security meeting with the Northern State Governors Forum and traditional rulers in the north over the security situation in the region. Addressing the meeting, President Buhari ruled out negotiating with Bandits. The president rejection for dialogue came against backdrop demands by Islamic cleric Sheikh Gumi.
Recall that prominent scholar Sheikh Gumi had called on the Federal Government to grant Amnesty to Bandits. The Northern Governors Forum had also indicated opting for dialogue with bandits as a synergy for peace.
In the meeting, President Buhari said it was time to treat criminals as criminals and to stop ethnic profiling. According to the President the security challenges confronting the nation has slowed down the emancipation of Nigerians from poverty and economic deprivation stating that measures have been put in place to bring to an end the reign of insurgency.
The president added that he had tasked the new service chiefs to devise new strategies that will end what he called “the ugly security situation” where lives of Nigerians continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.
While advocating for synergy between the Northern Governors Forum and other forums in other regions for the collective good of nation, he explained the importance for regions to compare notes and peer-review one another to exchange ideas and adopt best practices for the good of the people they govern.
The president also urged the governors to discuss and devise ways of building stronger collaboration with the security architecture and the people in defeating criminality across the region and the nation at large.
He commended the forum for de-escalating tension arising from clashes between herders and farmers, adding that their efforts in engaging all parties and supporting the federal government has gone a long way in ameliorating the situation.
“Government also notes with satisfaction the deliberate actions of the 19 Northern States Governors’ Forum of inclusivity in addressing the challenges of governance and National development. This is demonstrated in today’s event, wherein the Forum intends to receive and deliberate on the reports from Committees that were put in place to critically look at certain challenges of the region.”
He drew the attention of the leaders to key issues bothering the northern region and the country that required collective efforts to resolve.
“Some of the issues include population growth, agriculture value chain that is anchored on diversification and improved yields, as well as the revival of industries and other economic opportunities for job creation. I shall be keenly waiting for your resolutions on these and other issues as we work together to ensure a change,” he said.