Bandit kingpins hold peace dialogue in Niger
Charles Nwoke, Minna, Nigeria
March 6, 2021
Leaders of the various bandit groups operating across Niger State have held a gathering to discuss how to dialogue with the state government over the incessant kidnap and attacks ongoing in the state.
It was gathered that the meeting was held in Shiroro Local Government Area Council of Niger State penultimate Friday, which most of the criminal kingpins honored.
According to reports, the meeting was called by one of the commanders of the hoodlums and was attended by bandits within the state.
The state government, however, did not send delegates to represent her in the meeting.
Recall that the Niger State Government had earlier stated its commitment to ensure that there is peaceful coexistence in the state, and would meet with herdsmen militia and bandits to deliberate on how to put an end to the security challenges facing the state.
Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Niger State Government, Ahmed Ibrahim Matene, confirmed that the meeting was held but that’s without any state government representative, adding that the reason why the government was not represented was that they realized that the meeting was purely for the bandits in other locations.
“One of the kingpin commanders called for a meeting to know how they would stretch the hands of dialogue to the state government so that there would be peace in the state,” said the SSG.
“It was their meeting and they held it and talked about how we can have peace in the state and how the banditry activities in the state will end.
“When they are through with that, we will interface with them again to see some resolutions that the government can also leverage.”
He further revealed that the state government was still stretching its hands of peace to any of the hooligans interested in dropping their weapons and embracing a legitimate lifestyle. He added that this does not mean the government will do away with the carrot and stick approach.
“The stick is still there as security agents are doing what they are supposed to do,” he added.