Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has stated that the Federal Government will not be involved in any dialogue with bandits.
The Minister disclosed this in an interview with Daily Trust on Monday.
The minister said due to the complexity of the issue, state governments should be allowed to decide on whether they would go into agreement with bandits or not.
“Dealing with bandits is a very complex issue. Remember that many of the governors agreed at the beginning to interact with the bandits but they went back and became more vicious. Sometimes, they will agree that if they are given an amount of money, they will stop, but when they are given, they will use it to buy arms and ammunition.
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“I think we should leave it to individual state governments to decide on whether they are going to enter into any agreement with bandits or not. The federal government cannot decree by fiat. Unknown to many people, there are lots of things going on behind the scenes where bandits are surrendering.
“If you look at Boko Haram, I think about 3,000 adherents have surrendered in Borno State. Some we make public, but especially their leaders, we don’t make public, because if you make that public it will lead to mutiny within the leadership of the terrorists or bandits. We are doing everything to bring these things under control.”
He said the designation of bandits as terrorists has aided the fight against insecurity, adding that it had made possible, the use of excessive force, which hitherto was not an option.