- He noted that the decision to negotiate with criminals wreaking havoc in Zamfara portends danger for the State as such move only emboldens the criminal
- The governor has been very vocal about his opposition to negotiating with bandits
Governor Dauda Lawal said the Zamfara State Government is armed with incontrovertible proofs to substantiate its allegations of secret meetings between bandits and the Federal Government.
Recall that the governor recently raised an alarm over the meeting between agents of federal government and the rogue non-state actors.
The governor has been very vocal about his opposition to negotiating with bandits.
Reacting to the governor’s claim, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, accused the Zamfara Government of politicising security.
However, in a statement issued on his behalf by Sulaiman Bala Idris, his spokesman, on Tuesday, the Governor said he has enough facts to expose the agents of the Federal Government behind the secret negotiation with bandits.
He added that the Minister of Information should have conducted a thorough investigation before discrediting the State Government.
He noted that the decision to negotiate with criminals wreaking havoc in Zamfara portends danger for the State as such move only emboldens the criminal.
The statement read in parts: “We sought clarification from the Federal Government regarding the sneaky negotiations with bandits carried out by some of its agents without recourse to the State Government and heads of Security agencies in the State.
“We have facts and evidence on what had transpired between these agents of the Federal Government and the bandits during the negotiations in several places across Zamfara.
“It is disappointing that the information minister discredited our claim without verifying it first. What is expected of him as a professional is to collaborate with relevant authorities to substantiate the claim’s authenticity.
“Zamfara State Government respects protocol and established authority. We would not come out in the media to start exposing the names of the Federal Government agents involved in the covert dialogue with bandits.
“We want to clarify that those individuals leading secret negotiations with bandits in Zamfara are politicising insecurity, not the State Government.
“The Information Minister’s statement claiming that there were no negotiations between government officials and bandits in Zamfara requires further clarification. We have already exposed a few locations where such talks were held with bandits, such as Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Mun Haye, Ajah, Bawo, and Bagege.
“Negotiating with bandits in Zamfara is a grave mistake we cannot afford to make. It is not the solution to the problem and only encourages and emboldens the criminals. We urge the Federal Government to take a firm stance against such activities and investigate the motives of those who engage in them.”