The Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, has raised alarm over alleged negotiations between the Federal Government and various bandit groups operating in the state.
In a strongly-worded statement released on Monday, Governor Lawal expressed deep concern and called for immediate action to address the situation, which he believes undermines the progress made in the fight against banditry.
According to the statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Sulaiman Bala Idris, Governor Lawal disclosed that the Zamfara State government had received credible reports suggesting that representatives of the Federal Government had been holding meetings with multiple bandit groups in various locations within the state.
“The Zamfara State government has received reports of how some Federal Government delegations met with different bandits’ groups in Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Mun Haye, Ajah, Bawo, and Bagege,” the statement read.
Governor Lawal also emphasized the importance of learning from past mistakes, citing previous unsuccessful attempts by administrations to engage in dialogue with bandits. “We must learn from these past mistakes and adopt a new approach to restore peace in Zamfara,” he stated.
“Reports indicate that a delegation allegedly sent by some agencies of the Federal Government has been holding talks with bandits’ groups in Zamfara without the knowledge of the state government.
“We urge the Federal Government to take swift action by terminating the ongoing negotiations with the bandits in Zamfara as it undermines the progress we have made so far.
“The Zamfara State government has taken a firm stance from the beginning, that we will not negotiate with these criminals. Ensuring the fight against banditry is a top priority of the Zamfara State government and we cannot afford to make any compromises in our efforts.
“Governor Lawal calls on the Federal Government to clarify the action of these Federal agencies. Their action is clearly at variance with the state government’s adoption of a kinetic strategy in the fight against banditry,” the statement said.