Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, says his administration will no longer grant amnesty to bandits in the state.
He explained that the decision became necessary since the bandits have failed to embrace the peace initiative earlier extended to them by the state government.
Governor Matawalle stated this on Friday after attending the Jumat prayer at the Dalala Mosque in Gusau, the state capital.
“They (bandits) sent a powerful committee to plead with us to cease fire and allow supply (of food and other essential commodities) but I refused,” said the governor who spoke in Hausa. “What we are doing to bandits is to send them to God, so they can answer their questions.”
He asked residents to be patient and support the new security measures put in place by the government to flush out bandits and their collaborators, for peace to reign in Zamfara.
According to the governor, bandits who are currently facing the heat of the superior fire of security operatives have sent some persons to inform him that they have repented.
He added that the criminals were ready for a dialogue over the security situation in Zamfara, but it was too late for them to have a rethink.
No More Dialogue
Governor Matawalle commended the security agencies for the successes recorded in the ongoing onslaught against the criminals in the state.
He revealed that some of the bandits were running out of Zamfara to other states, as a result of the suffering imposed by the new security measures introduced by the state government to cut off the supply of food, petrol, and other essential commodities to them in the bush.
The governor also challenged politicians to fear God and avoid buying motorcycles to distribute to people to sell to bandits, who use them to perpetrate their evil acts.
“Politicians distributing motorcycles must stop, we will not dialogue again, we’ll continue to deal and fight with the bandits,” he said.
Zamfara is one of the worst-hit states by banditry in the North West where armed men have abducted hundreds of schoolchildren.
The decision to stop pardoning bandits comes a week after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed telecommunications providers to shut down services in Zamfara for a period of two weeks.
NCC’s directive was to enable relevant security agencies carry out the required activities towards addressing the security challenges in the state, said a memo sent to one of the telecommunications providers.
The document dated September 3 and signed by the Vice-Chairman of the agency, Professor Umar Danbatta, added that the shutdown period would end on September 17.