Maigari Dingyadi, Nigeria’s Minister of Police Affairs, has stated that “repentant” bandits should be reintegrated into society because they are Nigerian citizens.
Maigari Dingyadi spoke during a Channels Television interview on Tuesday, which was monitored by Ejes Gist News.
Some Boko Haram terrorists terrorising the north-east of Nigeria and bandits terrorising the north-west have surrendered their weapons and been granted amnesty, a move that has sparked public outrage.
In response to a question about the repentant bandits’ window of opportunity, the minister stated that because they are Nigerians who have surrendered their weapons, they are free to rejoin society.
“When you talk about amnesty, it’s a relative term, and what the Federal Government is trying to say is, ‘Let us see those who have surrendered their arms, let us listen to them, let us chronicle them, let us receive them,’” he explained. We cannot simply discard these individuals because they are all Nigerians.
“Of course, they’re criminals,” says the narrator. They have committed atrocities and crimes, but when you surrender from a war zone, you are not killed, maimed, or denied the right to have your say, according to international law. We’re paying attention to them to see how we can better integrate them into society. We’re attempting to settle them in their various communities and provide them with a means of subsistence so that they can integrate peacefully and honourably into society.”
“Anyone willing to surrender and do it honourably and honestly, the government is ready to listen, the government is ready to see what they can do to settle them down without much cost,” the minister continued.
“As a nation, we have responsibilities to our citizens, to integrate them with the little 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 revert to their old days of armed banditry, and we will continue to monitor them all. We’ll keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t revert to their old ways of armed banditry and kidnapping.”
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Aminu Masari, the governor of Katsina, one of the states most affected by banditry, recently expressed regret for granting amnesty to bandits, claiming that he was mistaken in believing that they had repented years ago.
Masari claims that the amnesty he granted bandits in 2016 should never have taken place.
“The only thing I can say is that with hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it because there were leaders at the time we started in 2016.” However, all of the leaders were eventually deposed. “That was the first round’s failure,” he explained.
Tags: Channels Television, Maigari Dingyadi, Bandits