Peace accord, reconciliation best options to end banditry – Matawalle

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle has said that before he took over as the chief executive of the state, there were many towns and villages that were being controlled entirely by bandits.

The Governor said that when he took over, he made several consultations and discovered that a peace accord and reconciliation with bandits would be the best option.

He however urged the Federal Government to consider the use of peace and reconciliation as the best option to end the current banditry.

This was contained in a state wide broadcast to the people of the state on the outcome of the enlarged security meeting held on Monday.

Matawalle stated that the use of dialogue was the best option ever to resolve crisis and misunderstanding amongst the warring factions.

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“Dialogue and reconciliation have always been used in resolving crises and ending wars”, he added.

According to him, 10 years before the coming the present administration bandits had been terrorising the state.

“It was on record that several towns and villages were under the watch of the bandits,” he added.

He explained that the activities of bandits during the previous administration had led to the closure of several weekly markets in the state.

“As soon as I assumed leadership of the state, a peace reconciliation initiative was initiated by the state government between the bandits and local vigilantes group,” he said.

Governor Matawalle noted that the peace and reconciliation initiative recorded relative peace in the state for nine months.

According to him, various wars, be it religious or tribal, mostly ended through peace and reconciliation but not through gun battle.

He, however, attributed the resurgence of banditry to the politicization of the war against banditry in the state.

“We have no doubt that we have recorded huge successes in the peace and reconciliation initiative, a situation that poses a threat to some unscrupulous politicians”, he added.

Matawalle maintained that peace dialogue was the best option to end the current banditry and state government would continue to pursue dialogue with the bandits.

He reiterated the call for the federal government to cue in the peace dialogue initiative with the bandits as the best option to end banditry.