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Governors must dialogue with bandits to end killings – Matawalle

The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has urged his colleagues to leverage dialogue to deal with insecurity affecting some states in some parts of the country.

He said this during an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa.

“I have been calling on my colleagues to gather all the stakeholders to discuss this and find the causes of the crises so that they can be able to initiate reconciliation and dialogue with those people so that they can be able to achieve what I achieved in my state,” the governor who said the President called him to brief him on the security situation in his state told reporters.

Matawalle said though his state has always been in the news for kidnapping, banditry, and killings, peace is now fully restored to the state.

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He alleged that peace was restored to the state following his ”initiative of holding dialogue with them”(bandits).

The governor said, “Not all of them are criminals. If you investigate what is happening and what made them take the law into their own hands, some of them were created by so-called vigilante groups.

“They normally go to their settlements and destroy property and take their animals. They did not have anyone to speak with, so sometimes, they go for revenge. When the vigilante groups attack them, they go for reprisals. That’s exactly what happened.”

He added, “In my state, I am constructing RUGA for them, a settlement that can contain some of them, because sincerely speaking, if we allow them going around from one place to another, we cannot find a solution to this issue.

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“So, the only thing the governors should do, and we are discussing that, is to contain them in one place. Like a Fulani from Zamfara should not migrate to another neighboring state. How are we going to do that? This is something that needs a lot of resources because you will have to create something that can engage them.

“You have to provide social amenities for them. Like the RUGA that we are doing, we have many amenities like a school, hospital, veterinary clinic, market, and even a mini stadium.

“If we allow them to migrate from one place to another, that is where the problem is. I believe that very soon, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum will discuss that so that we can be able to know what action all the governors should take to contain them in one place.”

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