NIGER State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello on Saturday disclosed that about 27 bandits terrorizing the state have given up banditry.
Speaking to The Nation, the Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ahmed Matane, said “when we first met with them, they said that they would surrender their arms only if some conditions are made.
These conditions include the release of thirteen of their members arrested by the security agents. The second was rehabilitation. They said that for a very long time, they have been neglected by the government. They said they were not happy living the way they were living.
“So we agreed to release the people in our custody and they also agreed to release the people in their custody. That is how we succeeded in making them surrender their arms.”
Matane stated that initiating dialogue is one of the strategies of the nineteen governors of northern Nigeria.
He disclosed that the dialogue was done with bandit commanders in the forest adding that talks are still on with other bandit commanders in other local government areas in Niger State.
“Niger has four major local government areas where the bandits operate; Mariga, Rafi, Munya and Shiroro.
For now, they are cooperating with the government and for some time now there has not been kidnapping through the axis. That shows that our peace pact worked,” he said.