By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja.
Against the backdrop of concerns expressed by Nigerians to the effect that treating criminal elements with kid gloves was emboldening bandits and kidnappers across the country, Police Affairs Minister, Muhammad Dingyadi has said the Federal Government is duty-bound to reintegrate bandits and terrorists “honourably and peacefully” into the society.
Speaking on Tuesday night as a guest on Channels Television programme ‘Politics Today’, Dinyadi said there was still room for bandits to surrender to the government and be reintegrated into the wider society.
He however stated that the ongoing onslaught against bandits in the North-West states of Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, amongst others by security forces will continue against the bandits, with security agencies working in synergy.
He said, “You are going to see more successes coming up in the next couple of days. Security forces were working more on the precision of their intelligence and the sophistication of their equipment to achieve greater victory against the marauders.
On whether the window of amnesty is still open for bandits willing to surrender, he said, “The issue of amnesty is a relative term. 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.
“With all pleasure, anybody willing to surrender and do it honourably and honestly, the 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 don’t go back to their old ways of armed banditry.
“We will monitor them and ensure that they don’t go back to their bad old days of armed banditry and kidnapping.”