Northern Leaders Urge Tinubu to Clear Forests of Bandits for Lasting Security
In response to the prevailing insecurity in the country, some northern leaders have advocated for the clearance of forests occupied by bandits as the only viable solution. They reject the idea of negotiating with the bandits, citing past failed attempts at negotiation. These leaders have called on President Bola Tinubu to lead the fight against insecurity by directly confronting the bandits in their forest hideouts.
Anthony N Z Sani, an elder statesman and former Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), believes negotiation with terrorists should not be considered. He argues that Nigeria should focus on prioritizing the deployment of well-trained and equipped security personnel who are motivated to confront the bandits in the forests. Sani questions the productivity of negotiating with bandits who lack a unified leadership and instead recommends decisive action to secure the nation.
Malam Bashir Usman Ruwangodiya, former Special Adviser to the immediate past Katsina State governor, emphasizes that clearing the forests of bandits is the most essential development project needed in the region. He explains that the multitude of bandit groups and their lack of a unified leadership make negotiations futile. Ruwangodiya highlights the previous failed attempts at negotiation, suggesting that a different strategy is required if negotiation were to be considered again.
Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Katsina, a former Special Adviser on Security Matters in Katsina State, proposes a multidimensional approach that addresses both the concerns of victims and terrorists. He warns against granting amnesty without addressing the underlying factors that contribute to the crisis. Katsina emphasizes the need to understand the root causes of the conflict and implement measures that go beyond amnesty to ensure lasting peace.
Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, former Secretary to the Katsina State Government, reflects on the failures of past negotiations with bandits. He highlights the absence of a common leader among the bandit groups, making negotiations ineffective. Inuwa also points out the need to collect weapons from the bandits and block their sources of arms supply. He calls for a well-coordinated national effort, involving the collaboration of affected states and security agencies, to effectively combat banditry.
In conclusion, these northern leaders advocate for a proactive approach that prioritizes direct action against the bandits in the forests. They express skepticism about negotiations, citing previous failures and the complex dynamics of bandit groups. They emphasize the need to address root causes, sensitize the public against ransom payments, and foster cooperation between states and security agencies to achieve lasting peace and security.