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Lagbaja: Granting amnesty to bandits created avenue to reorganise, attack citizens

Lagbaja: Granting amnesty to bandits created avenue to reorganise, attack citizens
July 12
21:42 2023

Taoreed Lagbaja, chief of army staff (COAS), has described the amnesty programme for bandits and terrorists in Zamfara and other states, as a failed programme.

Lagbaja spoke when he hosted Dauda Lawal, governor of Zamfara, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The army chief said the programme failed to achieve its purposes in the past, noting that it only allowed criminals to regroup, reorganise and attack citizens.

“We also have the issue of the amnesty programme that has been instituted, and which has failed not only in Zamfara, but so many other states of the north-west,” Lagbaja said.

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“So, I think we need to look at this issue of the amnesty programme because the criminal elements have proven to be incorrigible.

“The issue of amnesty has created an avenue for them to regroup and reorganise to launch attacks on our defenceless citizens. So I think we need to look at that.”

The COAS thanked the governor for feedback on the activities of troops deployed to restore peace in the state.

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Lagbaja said he has directed the deployment of more platforms and the release of funds to reactivate unserviceable ones to boost troops’ operations in the state.

He noted that the Zamfara crisis is a mix of farmer-herder clashes, ethnic confrontations and the quest for economic empowerment driven by mining activities.

He assured that the army is determined to tackle the security challenges in the state.

“We will not have a situation where some people constitute themselves into outlaws and just go into communities and kill children and defenceless women,” he said.

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“By working on this with the state government and other critical stakeholders, we can eliminate these outlaws and reduce the insecurities by a significant percentage.

“So I want to appeal to you your excellency that as we come up with this strategy to address the issue of the Yan Sakai and other regional groups, the state government should be disposed to the implementation of the measures that we will recommend.

“So that together, we will address the activities of these criminal elements.”

Earlier, Lawal said Zamfara has been facing challenging security threats and appealed for the support of the army.

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He said only a few operational vehicles in the state were serviceable, while cases of kidnapping and killing of innocent people are rampant.

“I will say without mincing words, that Zamfara is the state that is facing the most challenge in the area of insecurity today,” Lawal said.

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“Therefore, for me, being the number one citizen, part of my responsibility is protecting lives and properties, but I cannot do this alone.

“I, therefore, need the support of the chief of army staff and his entire team in bringing peace to Zamfara, as well as Nigeria in general.”

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Lawal commended the efforts of the troops in restoring peace in the state and called for the deployment of more military wares to support their operations.

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