The Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressives’ Union (BEPU) has urged President Bola Tinubu to reject the demands for peace talks with terrorists made by Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, a former governor of Zamfara state, and others.
Ishaq Usman Kasai, the head of the BEPU, remarked in a statement that the calls demonstrated a lack of understanding of the nature of bandits and their objectives, which had resulted in widespread destruction, fatalities, and destabilization in the nation.
According to BEPU, “In order to effectively end the business of banditry in Nigeria, all bandits’ camps in various forests in parts of the country must be completely dislodged.”
The chairman explained that anything to the contrary would only provide a temporary solution, stressing that engaging in negotiations with bandits is unlikely to yield positive outcomes.
He stated that past experiences had shown that criminal elements such as bandits exploited negotiations to buy time, regroup and strengthen their positions to carry out their illicit act.
He saw negotiations as a sign of weakness by the government, stressing that it further emboldened bandits to continue their violent activities across the country.
The union said lack of centralised leadership among the bandits in the country makes it difficult to ensure compliance with any negotiated terms carried out in good faith.