Abdullahi Hassan, Zaria
North West Vice Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop David Bakare, has said that dialogue with bandits embarked upon by some northern governors would not end the insecurity situation in the area.
Speaking to newsmen in Zaria, Kaduna State, Bakare said: “Though dialogue is a major process of conflict resolution but it must not superceed the major factor of the conflict.”
He said although carrot and stick approach has worked and failed in some countries, there was need to be careful about those that should be dialogued with.
“While there are some criminals that could be engaged in a dialogue, there are others as well who should be compelled and subjected to abide by laws,” he said.
According to him, the governors had opted to hold a dialogue with bandits without addressing the remote causes of the banditry and other criminal activities that led to the insecurity situation in the north.
He said: “We have a large army of unemployed youths both skill and unskilled, lack of empowerment package and proliferation of illicit drugs in the north.”
He maintained that unless governors addressed the socio-economic problems affecting their respective states, the ongoing dialogue would not record any significant achievement, not to talk of lasting solution.
He suggested that instead of relying on marathon dialogue with bandits, community policing should have been encouraged for immediate protection of people against criminal activities in the society.
“We all know that the major cause of banditry, rustling, kidnapping and even Boko Haram is largely economic deprivation against some under privileged Nigerians, especially youths,” he said.
Bakare said there is need for governors to keep constant touch with religious, community and cultural leaders before taking any security decision.