By Tina George, Minna
#TrackNigeria Bandits in Kotonkoro, Mariga local government area of Niger state have surrendered their arms and renounced kidnapping and banditry, Niger state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello disclosed on Saturday.
The governor also said he state government had released 13 bandits who were detained as part of its peace pact with those terrorizing the state.
Sani Bello who presented the released bandits during the 2nd General Abdulsalam Abubakar Foundation Annual Peace lecture in Minna said that government was dialoguing with commenders of other bandits in other parts where their operations are intense.
“Here I present to you, these men, whatever name you want to call them, we have engaged in dialogue with them, they have mentioned their grievances and we have tried our best to meet some of them.”
He said that due to the concern over the increased activity of the bandits across the state, the government decided to enter into dialogue with the bandit commanders adding that the dialogue has so far been successful.
“To this end, we have signed a peace pact with them and we are ready to enforce our side of the fact. They are also ready to respect their part of the pact.
“A spate of successes has been recorded so far through the dialogue initiative government adopted, we have confidence in the adopted measure as the best way around the situation.”
The Governor then said that dialogue is still ongoing with bandits in Erena, Rafi, and Kontagora local governments to ensure peace in the state.
He stressed the need to use dialogue as a way to promote peace in the nation stating that military solution is not the best way of resolving the crisis.
“Military solution is not always the best way of resolving the crisis. Dialogue provides for a win-win situation. We need to use dialogue more as a way to promote peace in the nation and there is no need for a military solution.”