It’s Not Late To Negotiate With Bandits, Give Them Promising Future — Shittu

It’s Not Late To Negotiate With Bandits, Give Them Promising Future — Shittu

A former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has urged the Federal Government to explore non-kinetic approach in dealing with the menacing phenomenon of banditry in Nigeria.

Shittu, an ex-minister in the cabinet of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, stated this on Tuesday.

“If I am in position, it is not too late to use non-kinetic neasures in negotiating with bandits, giving them a promising future. Let us retain them. Many of them are very intelligent, many of them are able-bodied,” Shittu said, adding that the military spending on equipment far outweighed the non-kinetic approach.

The ex-minister said the millions of out-of-school children in Northen Nigeria is a “production factory for banditry” in the country.

Like Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, Shittu opined that the government should negotiate with bandits “for the purpose of resettling, rehabilitating and retraining them”.

However, the ex-minister said it is important that the government solve the menacing situation “to ensure we have peace, to ensure that these people lay down their arms and ammunition and add value to their own lives and for them to also contribute to nation-building”.

He said the society had abandoned the bandits over the years, arguing that the marauders are citizens of Nigeria and they should be given a chance through training and deradicalisation.

“The more skills you are able to give to the largest number of them, the less the propensity for them to go back (to crime) if they are assured that a promising future awaits them after going through the deradicalisation processes and skills’ training.

“At the end of the day, the amount of money we are spending on the Armed Forces to confrontn these people, it looks like their number is endless because in the bush we have have thousands of groups, particularly in the North-West and North-East.

“So, instead of wasting too much money on acquiring arms and ammunition, let us rearrange, let us find a way, after every war, there must still be coming to the round table, negotiate,” Shittu said.

Shittu also said the creation of state police would empower the governors the more and silence the local governments.

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