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Armed Banditry: ‘Adopt Carrots and Dagger Approach’ – Zamfara NASS caucus urges FG

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Zamfara State Federal lawmakers in the National Assembly (NASS), under the aegis of Zamfara caucus, have called on the Federal Government to adopt carrots and Dagger Approach in solving the problem of armed banditry in the country.

The caucus at a press briefing in NASS on Wednesday, also canvassed for Amnesty for repentant bandits as being done by Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle in Zamfara State which according to them, has restored peace in the state.

Speaking on behalf of the caucus, the Senate Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Sahabi Ya’u (PDP Zamfara North), said he and the other nine federal lawmakers from the State, decided to call on the federal government and particularly, state governments in the North West, to adopt the Zamfara model of tackling the problem, going by tremendous positive results it has yielded.

Senator Sahabi who read the six – page press Statement by the caucus at the briefing said the violence ravaged and killing field Zamfara, inherited by Governor Matawalle in May 2019, has changed to a peaceful and productivity – driven state through the carrots and Dagger Approach method of engaging the bandits and offering of Amnesty to repentant ones.

‘‘In making peace reign in the State, Ruga Settlements are being put in place by the Governor across the three Senatorial zones with required facilities that will make Fulani Herders in each of the settlements to be comfortable.

” It is our belief that the Federal Government should offer amnesty to those repentant bandits in the North West region, because we are convinced that these repentant bandits should be encouraged to contribute positively to society. 

“The current state of affairs in Zamfara state further convinces us that peace cannot only be achieved by force. It is evidently clear that peace can also be achieved through understanding and genuine dialogue’’, he said. 

He said “This conviction comes on the heels of a similar success recorded in the Niger Delta when the late President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua grant amnesty to repentant bandits in that region. 

“Today, the story in that once troubled area is clearly not the same. The amnesty worked perfectly by turning the criminal minded into productive elements and they are usefully contributing to the society in various fields of endeavor. 

“Today, the attacks on critical infrastructures including oil installations, pipeline vandalism, and adoption of expatriates in the region have drastically reduced courtesy of the Amnesty programme’’, he disclosed. 

Sahabi noted that “This is a testimony that peace cannot only be achieved through the use of excessive force; it is evident that dialogue and genuine commitment of both parties is also a vital tool in tackling insecurity. 

“We equally call on other states in the North West region of this country to also initiate peace dialogues in their various states as a way of fighting these vices for the peace and development of the region, because history have shown that no nation, state or region can develop in the face of high insecurity’’, he added. 

The Senator further said “We must work in unionism and patriotism to clear these hurdles for a better tomorrow so that history will judge us kindly. Desmond Tutu says and I quote, “if you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies”, so there is absolutely nothing wrong in pursuing peace through dialogues with repentant bandits who are prepared to be reintegrated into the society. 

“We therefore appeal to all the Governors of the North West regardless of their political party affiliations, to confront banditry using the Governor Bello Matawalle model.

” We need to work for peace for the future by changing the mind sets of the bandits, creating employment opportunities for the youths and resolving the very issues that could potentially trigger crimes. We call on all hands to be on the deck”.

The Senate Deputy Minority Whip was flanked at the briefing by Senators Hassan Mohammed, PDP, Zamfara Central and Hassan Anka Lawan, PDP, Zamfara West.

Seven members of the House of Representatives from Zamfara State at the briefing were, Sani Umar Dan- Galadima, Kaura- Namoda/ Birnin Magaji; Hassan Bello Shinkafi, Shinkafi/ Zurmi; Kabiru Amadu, Gusau/ Tsafe; Ahmed Shehu, Bungudu/ Maru; Kabiru Yahaya, Anka/ Tamara Marafa; Ahmed Muhammad Bakura, Bakura/ Maradun and Abubakar Suleiman Gumi, Gummi/ Bukkuyum.

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