Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Inspector General of Police, (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has dismissed concerns being raised following Katsina State’s amnesty programme put in place for repentant bandits, saying it is not new. He said such negotiations will bring peace.
He declared that the security situation has improved compared to the two quarters ago, adding that banditry and kidnapping have decreased.
Briefing State House Correspondents after a security meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Security Heads including Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Adamu recalled that dialogue and negotiations were used by the late Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration to solve the militancy problem in the Niger Delta which led to the amnesty programme for the repented militants.
He said the use of kinetic action sometimes does not solve a problem rather negotiation and dialogue bring peace.
“When we are talking about peace initiative, there are a lot of things that we take into consideration, you give out something to get something. And this peace initiative has not started with the bandits in the North Western part of this country with the bandits.
“If you remember some years back we were having issues in the Niger Delta and those issues kinetic actions could not solve the problem until amnesty and peace initiative came up and what we had had in Niger Delta had gone.
“So, I think part of strategy to deal with challenges in terms of either security or war, there is peaceful negotiation too. So it is not that you are a bandit and on the course of the banditry you committed crime you must be punished when there is peace initiative going on. If you refused to accept the peace initiative of course you have to face the consequences.”
Asked if he was comparing the Niger Delta militant agitation to the killings by bandits in the North West, he said: “It’s not like comparison per se but giving an example how a negotiation and dialogue can bring peace. Even in terms of war, you go into dialogue so as to achieve certain level of peace, that is what I am trying to say. So, if dialogue can bring peace, why do you have to use force?”
He insisted there was reduction in crime.
“We just finished security meeting and we have noticed within this quarter that the security situation in the country is stable, we make comparison of what has happened in the previous quarters and this quarter and we saw that there is tremendous decrease in kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and even acts of cultism.
“You can see the situation in North-west, banditry has reduced tremendously, kidnapping also has gone down and we have statistics to back it. Having noticed that, we have been charged by Mr. President to do more. He wants to see a mere zero crime society in the whole of the country. So we have been charged to do more than what we are doing now in fact, in the whole of the country. Recently, there have been series of peace initiatives especially the Tiv/Jukun crisis, the federal government came up with initiatives by bringing the leadership of the two states and their traditional rulers and we have been asked to support that initiative and see to it that dialogue succeeds and that there is peace between the Jukun and Tivs.”