The Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, says repentant bandits are Nigerian citizens and the Federal Government has a responsibility to reintegrate them “peacefully and honourably into the society”.
He also said the window is still open for bandits to surrender to the government and be reintegrated into the wider society.
The Minister spoke on Tuesday, as a Guest on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’.
Commenting on the ongoing onslaught against bandits in the North-West States, he said that the government will continue to record successes against bandits, as long as the Security Agencies continue to work in synergy.
He stated: “You are going to see more successes coming up in the next couple of days.”
Speaking on possible amnesty for repentant Fulani bandits, the Minister noted: “When you talk of amnesty, it is a relative term, and what the Federal Government is trying to say is that: Let us see those who have surrendered their arms, let us listen to them, let us chronicle them, let us receive them, we cannot just throw these people away, because they are all Nigerians.
“Of course, they are criminals, they have committed atrocities, they have committed crimes, but according to the International Laws, when you surrender from a war zone, you are not killed, you are not maimed, you are allowed to have your say. We are listening to them, to see how we can integrate them into the larger society.
“What we are trying to do is to get them settled in their various communities, to let them have a kind of means of livelihood, so that they can integrate peacefully and honourably into the society.”
Asked the second time whether the window for bandits to surrender is still open, he said: “With all pleasure, anybody willing to surrender and do it honourably and honestly, government is ready to listen, government is ready to see what they can do to settle them down without much cost.
“As a nation we have responsibilities to our citizens, to integrate them with the little that we can afford to give them, and we will continue to monitor what they are doing in their various communities, to ensure that they do not go back to their old days of armed banditry, and all of them. We will monitor them and ensure that they do not go back to their bad old days of armed banditry and kidnapping.”
More news later…