. Asks troops to unleash more attacks
.Gumi differs, says ‘innocent souls are dying’
Wrenched sore by the escalation of shock attacks and kidnapping by bandit terrorists, Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, has said it is now clear that the amnesty olive branch extended to the bandits is of no use.
Matawalle has, as such, said the state government is no longer interested in dialogues with the bandits, as they have rejected government’s benevolence.
Speaking in Gusau, the state capital, the governor said that instead of dialogue, security forces would flush them out.
“My administration will no longer grant amnesty to bandits as they have failed to embrace the peace initiative earlier extended to them,’’ Matawalle said while addressing a congregation.
He urged residents to be patient and support new security measures put in place to flush out bandits and their collaborators, to restore peace in the state.
Matawalle said the barrage of attacks on bandits by security forces had made them to make a fresh overture to government, seeking dialogue.
He said their emissaries informed him that they had repented and would want to dialogue with the government.
He noted that some of the bandits were running out of Zamfara to other states as a result of the new security measures introduced by the state government.
The governor warned politicians against giving any form of support to bandits, advising them to “fear God and stop buying motorcycles to distribute to people who in turn sell to bandits to perpetuate their evil acts.’’
He warned that the government would prosecute any politician caught in the act.
However, controversial Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, has faulted the governor, saying ongoing military onslaughts against the armed are having terrible effects on hapless residents.
Gumi also said only residents of adjoining states are suffering the effects of the military action in Zamfara, “as the bandits have since escaped”.
“By the way, what you may not hear is that the bandits over the years have developed escape routes from aerial bombardments.
“They told us: you can only kill our women and children with your attacks!”, the cleric posted on his verified Facebook page.
“The point is that, if Zamfara is on fire for them, definitely it goes without saying that they will migrate to other areas. So, is the whole of Nigeria going to be under lock-up incommunicado?,” Gumi asked.
He, however, averred that “war has never been the solution anywhere anytime”, urging the government to grant amnesty to the bandits.
Gumi is reputed to have visited some bandits in their forest hideouts and has continued to advise the government to negotiate with them, in order to bring an end to banditry in the region.