I will not abandon dialogue with bandits, says Matawalle

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has said he would not abandon the ongoing dialogue with bandits, saying is still relevant for the attainment of peace in the state.

He made this known as he secured the release of 26 minors from bandits without payment of ransom.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Zailani Bappa on Sunday said “the girls who were kidnapped by bandits in Faskari local government area of Katsina State were brought into the state by the bandits.

“Later the state government discovered their presence and got them released through negotiations held with the state Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran.

“Dauran is constantly meeting with the bandits on behalf of the government because of the need for the bandits to embrace peace and live a normal life.”

Governor Matawalle who received the rescued girls said his administration will not abandon the peace dialogue with bandits as firepower alone cannot solve the problem of banditry in the state.

He said, “this is a testimony to our vision for engaging the bandits in peace dialogue. For those who believe we are wrong to dialogue with the bandits, the securing of these minors who are all girls, unhurt, is indeed, priceless.”

The 26 rescued girls, whose ages ranges between 8 and 12 were medically checked and provided with new clothes.

Governor Matawalle also ordered their safe return to Katsina State.

This latest rescue brings the total number of those released by bandits in the last one week to more than 40.

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