Lai Mohammed: It is unfair to criticise Zamfara governor for granting amnesty to repentant bandits

Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture has stated that it is unfair for Nigerians to criticise Zamfara state governor who has chosen the option to grant amnesty to repentant bandits.

This statement was made by Lai Mohammed while reacting to criticisms that have trailed the decision by the Zamfara state governor, Bello Matawalle, who granted amnesty to bandits.

Recall that on Monday, February 8, Gov Matawalle granted amnesty to a notorious bandit, Auwalun Daudawa, who allegedly masterminded the abduction of the Kankara schoolboys.

The amnesty program which involves the deradicalization of criminals and their reintegration into society has been embraced by the Federal Government and some state governments.

In an interview with AIT on Wednesday morning, February 8, Lai Mohammed said there is nothing wrong with granting amnesty to criminals if the purpose is to restore desired peace in affected areas.

“When you are fighting insurgency, you use both kinetic and non-kinetic (means). Granting amnesty to notorious drug barons, notorious militants is not a new thing, it is not unique to Nigeria.

“You need to be in the shoes of the Zamfara State government or governor to appreciate what are the issues at stake (and) why he has done that. Don’t also forget that the state governors are their own chief security officers.

“When you are dealing with insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, you are interested in the bigger picture; how do we restore peace? If granting amnesty to one notorious kidnapper is going to give me peace in my state, I might take that decision. If granting amnesty to one repentant warlord would help me capture a thousand bandits, I might take that decision. Don’t just look at what is in the public place, understand the very high complexity of managing insurgency and banditry.

The governor of a state understands the dynamics of the state and takes decision but it will be unfair of us to criticise him (Matawalle) without knowing what he did and I want to believe the governors work together with the security forces in their own state, so, it is not as we think,” he said.


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