Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has urged President Muhammadu Buhari government to dialogue with armed bandits, quoting verses from the Holy Quran to justify his plea.
The governor made the call in Gusau on Wednesday when he received a delegation from the Federal Government, led by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, who paid him a visit over Sunday’s fire incident at the Tudun Wada Market, Gusau.
Matawalle said the federal government should come out with a comprehensive plan of action to sustain peace and dialogue initiated in Zamfara towards addressing armed banditry and other criminalities.
All conflicts that have ethnic dimension can best be resolved through dialogue, he said.
According to him, dialogue is the most practical choice which had been used in the Niger Delta to attain peace and if applied to banditry affecting Zamfara and the North-West region, the menace would be squarely addressed.
The governor claimed that while his administration is fighting banditry, it is also rolling out various plans for social intervention programmes for youths, women and those affected by banditry.
Matawalle said, “As believers in God, we see the unfortunate incident as a test. Allah subhanahu wata’ala says in the Holy Qur’an, “And certainly, we shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”
The insecurity in some parts of Northern Nigeria had been worsened by the threat of motorcycle-riding armed bandits, who have killed and kidnapped scores in Zamfara and other places in Northwestern Nigeria.
As at the time of filing this report about 39 students kidnapped by the bandits from a Kaduna Forestry school are yet to be released by their abductors.