We Must Tckle Banditry And Insurgency With Carrot And Stick- Senator Ndume Tells Buhari

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By Suleiman Umaru

Ali Ndume, a Borno state born politician and Senator, Federal Republic of Nigeria, who incidentally is the Chairman, Senate Committee, on the Army, is not a happy man.  Ndume’s source of unhappiness is the alleged provision of blanket amnesty  to Bandits ,who  had been instrumental in causing mayhem in  north western states of Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, home state.

 The Bandits  had been involved in kidnapping students in these states including the north central state of Niger, former military President Ibrahim Babangida, a retired army General home state, for ransom in the recent time. The latest of such attacks was at the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local government Area of  Zamfara state  where they were said to have  kidnapped close to 300 female students on Friday, February 26, 2021.

Female Students Kidnapped By Bandits In Zamfara State

    This may have informed why the Senate Committee Chairman on the Army had cautioned the Katsina state born Nigerian President  not ‘’to think  that a blanket amnesty to the Bandits or the Insurgents due to the pressure from several quarters could force the Criminals   to  sheath their sword.  Ndume , who could not hide his feelings  had said that such gestures  would achieve the opposite  in the society  as’’it would breed  new forms of Criminality with hope that the government will bring them  to the Negotiating table’’.

 He further advised the Nigerian President  ‘’to tackle  the Banditry in the north west and north central as well as the Insurgency   in the north east  with the carrot and stick approach’’.  But the Nigerian President  had  said  on Thursday, February 25, 2021, that there is no possibility  of granting  amnesty  to the Bandits,   kidnappers and Insurgents. 

He may have taken advantage of the joint security meeting  of northern states governors Forum, northern  Traditional Rulers  Council and a delegation  from the Federal government in Kaduna, the  political Headquarters of the northern Elites.

The retired army General’s pronouncement, ruling out amnesty to the Bandits , Insurgents and Kidnappers, may have gladdened the heart of many  Nigerians as there had been pressure  by some prominent  northern political Leaders and elites  that the  repentant Bandits and Insurgents, should be granted amnesty.

 The retired army General who  was said to have been represented at the all- powerful  northern  joint security  meeting by Ibrahim Gambari, a Professor and the Chief of Staff, was said to have  made it clear to those that cares to listen   that ‘’it was time  to treat Criminals as Criminals and stop ethnic profiling of them’’, an indication that there is no ethnic group that does not have Criminals among them.

 The Nigerian President has every reason to say so. He had said  that the security challenges facing the nation which was  caused by the Bandits, Insurgents and the kidnappers had ‘’slowed down  the emancipation  of Nigerians  by the APC government from poverty and economic deprivation’’.

Gambari was said to have  revealed at the meeting  that the President had  directed  Leo Irabor, a Major General and Chief of Defense Staff, CDS , Ibrahim Attahiru, a Major General and the Chief of Army Staff, CAS, Isiaka Amao, an Air Vice Marshall and Chief of Air Staff , CAS Zubairu Gambo, a Rear Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, and Heads of other security agencies’’ to develop  plans to end Criminality in the country’’.

The Value News gathered that Bello Matawalle, the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, governor,of the Bandits besieged Zamfara state and Ahmad Gumi, an Islamic Cleric,  were said to have been at the forefront   to force  Buhari  to grant amnesty to the Bandits.

BokoHaram Insurgents

 They may have been encouraged to call on the government  to  grant amnesty to the Bandits because  of the amnesty granted   to the repentant Insurgents  who laid their arms in 2017 and 2018.  Note that the military, under the former service Chiefs  had established a Camp’’to rehabilitate  and integrate  the surrendered  Boko Haram  and the Islamic State of West Africa Province, IWAP, Insurgents.

The Lawan Ahmad  Senate  were said have even  started  considering a bill for an Act  tagged ‘’ National Agency  for Education, Rehabilitation and de-radicalisation and Integration  of repentant Insurgents in Nigeria 2020, SB. The bill which has the backing of Ahmad, the Senate President, was said to have been sponsored  by Senator  Ibrahim Gaidan, a one –time governor of Yobe state.

The Borno state government had made a declaration  in 2018, that some 1,400 repentant BokoHaram and ISWAP Insurgents   had been released by the military  and rehabilitated  into the society but that may not have stopped the Insurgents attacks in Communities in  Borno and Yobe states.      

Senator Ali Ndume

Appearing on Channels Television, on Sunday, February 28, 2021, Ndume, who is a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , had urged the Buhari led APC  government to set up a Committee that would get to the root  of  the Banditry , Insurgency and kidnapping  activities in the country in order to ascertain the actual cause of the security challenge in the country  and address it squarely.

He had said that  the military, under the current service Chiefs ‘’needs to be properly funded  to acquire  modern war equipment for Surveillance, monitoring and Intelligence gathering’’.  The Lawmaker stressed that ‘’the funding  of the Nigerian  Military  should be considered as a top  national  priority by the government ‘’, insisting that the country’s military, as it stands today,  are not properly armed , and therefore  could not effectively  prosecute  the war against the Bandits in the north west and the Insurgents in the north east, who had laced their attacks with kidnapping for ransom.

Many believe that whether the Buhari led government bows to pressure to grant  blanket amnesty to the Bandits and Insurgents or not, the country  was already in a state of war. One of such people isFemi-Fani Kayode, a Lawyer and former minister of Aviation, who have been rumoured of having  dumped the PDP to join the ruling APC.  

 The ex-minister had warned that  the deteriorating  security situation  in the country could lead to another  Civil war. In an emotional outburst, he had said , ‘’We have got  to offer solutions to the security challenges  facing the country, to stop it from falling  into Civil unrest’’. 

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