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President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that his Government would not offer amnesty to Bandits and insurgents still in the business of terrorizing Nigerians and unleashing mayhem on the citizenry.
The president disclosed this at an elaborate meeting of the Governors of the 19 Northern States, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Director General of the Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi, as well as the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, held in Kaduna which was held on Thursday.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III led traditional rulers from all parts of the north to the high-powered meeting held at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House.
Other attendees to the meeting were northern lawmakers from both chambers of the National Assembly represented by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ahmad Idris Wase, who stood in for the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, leaderships of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders ’ Forum among others.
Governors of Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Yobe, Plateau, Sokoto, and Kebbi States were present while others were represented by their deputies.
The essence of the meeting was to discuss the troubling security challenges occasioned by banditry and other related crimes as well as the almajirinci menace in the northern states.
The President, Muhammadu Buhari, who was ably represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, at the meeting, ruled out the option of negotiating with bandits, saying that his administration would continue to deal decisively with insurgents, bandits, and kidnappers who had made life very terrible for Nigerians.
The President also asked Nigerians to stop the ethnic profiling of criminals, adding that criminals should be treated as criminals and not assuming the person is a criminal just because of his or her ethnic group.
Speaking further Buhari added that he had tasked the new service chiefs to devise new strategies that would end the ugly situation where the lives of Nigerians were being threatened by hoodlums and criminals.
He added that; ‘This meeting is coming at a time when the nation is making steady progress in addressing the many challenges impeding development and progress.
‘We are providing critical infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports among which are critical to the economic prosperity of our people as well as opening up economic opportunities for our citizens to pursue legitimate aspirations that grow the economy.
‘At the same time, we are confronting the various dimensions of security challenges that continue to slow down the emancipation of our people from poverty and economic deprivation.
‘The Government shall continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals constitute innocent threat citizens across the country.
‘Criminals are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly without resorting to ethnic profiling.
‘I have already tasked the new Service Chiefs to devise new strategies that will end this ugly situation where the lives of our people continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.
‘I expect that at this meeting, your Forum will also discuss and devise ways of building stronger collaboration with the security architecture and the people in defeating criminality across the region and the nation at last.
‘It is pertinent to note that the increased realization of our security, democracy, and development indices are inextricably linked. Democracy and the rule of law promote stability and in turn, reinforces the power to assert freedom and economic progress of our people.
‘This thread of interconnection needs the support of the Northern State Governors Forum and the entire citizenry of the country as any amount of positive sacrifice would be beneficial in bringing about National development and security out nation’. He concluded.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK