Former Katsina SSG Advises Against Negotiating with Bandits, Cites Misuse of Previous Payments
Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, the former Secretary to the Government of Katsina State, has advised against negotiating with bandits, stating that it would be futile as they are unlikely to accept any negotiation. He made these remarks in response to the call for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to engage in negotiations with bandits, as suggested by a former Zamfara State Governor.
Dr. Inuwa, who is also the Chairman of the Amnesty Programme to end banditry in the state, emphasized that the bandits are unlikely to abandon their lucrative kidnapping activities, as they yield substantial financial gains that cannot be matched by legitimate means of income.
He further explained that previous attempts to negotiate with bandits between 2017 and 2019 were unsuccessful because the bandits lacked sincerity and organizational structure. With various rival groups and no common leader, negotiating with them proved challenging and led to the misappropriation of funds, as they used the money received to purchase more arms.
Dr. Inuwa stressed the need for a strong and coordinated forceful response to deal with the bandits. He suggested that security agencies and state governments must work together to organize a sustained and well-coordinated onslaught against the bandits, using both ground and air operations. He highlighted that the majority of the bandits are local Fulani, known to the community, making it feasible to gather intelligence and disrupt their activities.
To facilitate military operations, Dr. Inuwa urged state governors to take collective actions, such as banning motorcycle usage and the purchase of fuel in jerrycans in affected areas. He asserted that the bandits’ activities have caused immense suffering in the region, with daily incidents of kidnapping, killings, and sexual violence.
Regarding the idea of amnesty and negotiation, Dr. Inuwa stated that such options should only be considered if the bandits request it after being weakened by forceful security operations. He emphasized that the present situation calls for decisive action and that the bandits will not be swayed by promises or offers from the government, given the high profits they reap from their criminal activities.
In conclusion, Dr. Inuwa underscored the urgency of confronting the bandits forcefully and systematically to bring an end to their reign of terror and restore peace to the affected areas.