Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, has reiterated that his government will not negotiate with bandits despite the spate of recent kidnappings in the state.
Gunmen suspected to be bandits on 11 March stormed the Federal College Of Forestry Mechanisation in Igabi Local Government Area of the state and kidnapped about 39 students, who are still in captivity.
Gunmen also stormed a UBE primary school at Rama in Birnin-Gwari LGA of the state and abducted three teachers, who are yet to be released.
There has also been a couple of incidents at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) staff quarters in Kaduna, while soldiers foiled another attempted attack on a school.
But speaking at an expanded meeting of the state security council on Tuesday, Governor el-Rufai insisted that it is not the responsibility of government to negotiate with criminals. He said government’s job is to enforce the law and help prosecute people who commit offences
He, however, stated that private citizens such as clerics can, instead, preach to and negotiate with the bandits to repent and drop their arms.
“We will not engage with bandits or kidnappers. Private citizens like clerics and clergymen can do so in their individual capacities, to preach to them and ask them to repent. We also want them to repent but it is not our job to ask them to do so,” he said.
The governor said the best way to solve the farmer-herder clashes, cattle rustling, and banditry “is for nomadic herdsmen to live more sedentary lives in order for them to be more productive and give their children education and access to better healthcare”.
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