In a bid to address the insecurity challenge across the country, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) had indicated opting for negotiations with bandits in accordance with commitment to do all that is required for peace to return to the nation.
The indication was made on Tuesday by the Chairman of the NGF, Dr. Kayode Fayemi when he led some members of the forum on a solidarity visit to the Niger State Governor, Sani Bello, in Minna, the state capital.
You would recall that last week Bandits attacked Government Science College Kagara and abducted no fewer than 27 students, 3 teachers, two non teaching staff and 9 family members of the staff staying in the quarters. In the same vein, some bandits stopped a Niger State Transit Authority (NSTA) bus in the Yakila district of the Rafi Local Government Area on Feb 15 and abducted at least 21 of the passengers.
The forum made the visit to address the security situation in the region. Dr. Kayode Fayemi, while sympathizing with the Niger Governor, stated that the issue of insecurity was a national concern, adding that the several abductions in the state were not strange incidents.
In his words, “We all feel your pain. We feel the fears and the anxieties of the good people of Niger State. This is not uncommon. What happens here is not unique to you.
Fayemi noted that the government understands the needs of the people, the demand of fixing the insecurity challenges and finding a permanent solution to insurgency and would do whatever it takes to restore peace even if it means negotiating with Bandits.
“We also need to explore other avenues side by side with whatever the security institutions are doing if that means engaging in dialogue, we may not have a choice. We may have to do that, anything to help us to deal with this immediate crisis and then to begin to address on a much longer time basis, the root causes of this social dislocation responsible for what we are witnessing all around us.”
The chairman then commended the measures taken by the state governor as well as the efforts he made to secure the release of the passengers that were abducted in the Niger State Transport Service on February 14.
The State Governor when responding stated that the solidarity visit of his colleagues was a morale booster to him and his people. He further added that it’s high time the federal government addressed the security challenges bedeviling the country.