Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed says it is unfair to criticize the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, for granting amnesty to the bandits who once terrorized the North-West state.
He said this while on AIT’s Kakaaki show.
The Minister stated that the Federal Government won’t stop governors from addressing the security challenges in their respective states the way they deem fit.
It was reported yesterday that Zamfara state granted amnesty to the leader of the gang who abducted over 300 schoolboys from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, last year. Auwalun Daudawa, the mastermind of the abduction, surrendered 28 AK 47 rifles, 27 magazines and a general machine gun to the Zamfara State Government who in return granted him amnesty.
Mohammed noted that there was nothing wrong in granting amnesty to criminals if the aim is to restore peace and security in affected areas.
He said, “When you are fighting insurgency, you use both kinetic and non-kinetic (means). Granting amnesty to notorious drug barons, notorious militants is not a new thing, it is not unique to Nigeria.
“You need to be in the shoes of the Zamfara State government or governor to appreciate what are the issues at stake (and) why he has done that. Don’t also forget that the state governors are their own chief security officers.
“When you are dealing with insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, you are interested in the bigger picture; how do we restore peace? If granting amnesty to one notorious kidnapper is going to give me peace in my state, I might take that decision. If granting amnesty to one repentant warlord would help me capture a thousand bandits, I might take that decision. Don’t just look at what is in the public place, understand the very high complexity of managing insurgency and banditry.
“The governor of a state understands the dynamics of the state and takes decision but it will be unfair of us to criticise him (Matawalle) without knowing what he did and I want to believe the governors work together with the security forces in their own state, so, it is not as we think”.