Governor of Zamfara State, Muhammed Bello Matawalle has said that he would not abandon the ongoing dialogue with bandits in his state. According to him, such dialogue was still relevant to attain peace in Zamfara.
Governor Bello, in a statement issued by Zailani Bappa, Special Adviser on Media and Communication, stated that they had secured the release of 26 minors from Katsina State whose age ranged between 8 and 12 years from the bandits without payment of ransom.
The statement stressed that ‘the girls who were kidnapped by bandits in Faskari local government area of Katsina state were moved to Zamfara by the bandits.
They said the state Government discovered their presence and got them released through negotiations held with the state Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran.
“Dauran is constantly engaged in dialogue with the bandits on behalf of the Government because of the need for the bandits to embrace peace and live a normal life,” they said. While receiving the rescued girls, Governor Matawalle said his administration will not abandon the peace dialogue with bandits as firepower alone cannot solve the problem of banditry in the state.
“This is a testimony to our vision for engaging the bandits in peace dialogue. For those who believe we are wrong to dialogue with the bandits, the securing of these minors who are all girls, unhurt, is indeed, priceless”.
The 26 rescued girls, whose ages ranged between 8 and 12 were medically checked and given new clothes. The governor ordered for their safe return to Katsina state. This latest rescue brings the total number of those released by bandits in the last one week to more than 40.