Ahmad Yerima, the former governor of Zamfara State, has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to explore the option of engaging in dialogue with bandits as a means to address the insecurity prevalent in the North-West region of Nigeria.
Yerima emphasized the need for the federal government to initiate negotiations with bandits who have shown remorse for their actions. He argued that resorting to military intervention would likely result in unintended harm to innocent individuals and should only be considered as a last resort.
In a recent interview with BBC Hausa, the former governor urged the governors of the North-West states to also pursue dialogue with the bandits responsible for causing terror in the region.
Speaking after paying a courtesy visit to the President on Monday at Aso Rock Villa Abuja, Yerima said: “The best way to go about handling the issue of bandits is to introduce dialogue first. But as I said, if that fails, then the government will go all out to eliminate them.
“I believe that the Nigerian military has the capacity to deal with them (bandits) if so directed and given the resources, support, and political will.
“But the collateral damages that will be associated with the actions to be taken are what I believe should be avoided. If you send an aircraft now, not only bandits will be affected.
“Former President Umaru Yar’Adua had a similar interaction with the militants in the Niger Delta, and it was successful.”