Following large scale armed banditry in parts of the country, particularly the North-west region, there have been various reactions bordering on the need to call the perpetrators to a round table. The governments of the states concerned are frantically seeking to get the attention  of the criminal elements that have held the region to ransom.

The activities as disturbing as they are, have taken a toll on the populace as it has been characterized by killings, looting and untoward human inhumanity to man.

However, a recent report that the governors of the affected states are seeking a rapprochement with the hoodlums is not only alarming but a distraction from that would be too expensive in the course of time.

With the benefit of history, negotiating with criminal elements in whatever hue or colour they present themselves would only continue to foster more of their clans to prop up.

AljazirahNigeria is not particularly impressed by the fresh disposition to talk the talk with criminal elements that have held our people to a standstill. We will continue to advocate for system that would present a full proof security system capable of beating criminals to a stop.

With the preponderance of various criminalities, worsened by the Boko Haram devastation, it is only imperative for all Nigerians to face this menace in the name of armed banditry squarely. We are against any form of negotiation as being discussed by the various states. It is preposterous that the same state governments who had vowed not to deal with these insurgents are the ones now cajoling these criminals for settlement.

What we consider as the right approach is for these governments to share enough security information across borders as we know that the proximity of the adjoining states allow for quick movement across states unfettered. It is imperative for the security architecture to improve in a manner that a seamless information flow would give the agencies easy access to the various domains.

Again, we would call on these states to press for a renewed call for community policing as a way out of the menace. Insiders are the culprits who accentuate these criminalities as there is hardly a stranger that would invade a community without the active connivance of insiders. We must begin to be our brothers’ keepers by giving information to security agencies in order that they can track these criminals.

Disturbingly, the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello  Matawale, the worst hit in the zone by armed banditry has said the government has decided to negotiate with the bandits so as to end the insecurity in the state and allow the people to go about their normal activities without fear. Matawale said it had been long since any attack was recorded in the state, adding that the pressure mounted on the criminals by the military through air and ground assaults had helped in halting the attacks on villages. All these are still largely in the realm of conjectures.

The governor stated these during a visit to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at the Nigerian Air Force Headquarters not too long ago.

Matawale said the negotiations with the bandits were to “immediately end all forms of insecurity in the state so that the people of Zamfara could go about their normal activities without fear.”

As reasonable as these moves are, we condemn an outright negotiation that would put the authorities under pressure. No single individual should hold any part of the country to ransom in the name of banditry or in any other guise. We hold that citizens must be allowed to live freely in spite of the unreasonable quest of rabble rousers in the land.

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