Kogi: I won’t negotiate with bandits ― Gov Bello

Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has warned that his administration would deal ruthlessly with all criminal elements, saying he would not negotiate with bandits.

He said this during the North Central Nigeria Police Regional Security Summit held at Ta’al Conference Centre Lafia, Nasarawa State on Wednesday to deliberate and strategise on how to overcome insecurity through community policing.

The theme of the summit was: “Strategic Partnership for Effective Community Policing in the North-Central Zone/FCT”.

Bello said with the cooperation of the security agencies, traditional rulers and citizens of the state, the state dealt with insecurity which was commonplace before his administration and has become one of the safest states in Nigeria today.

He said the criminals who have refused to turn a new leaf should not be negotiated with, assuring the Inspector General of police that the governors will stand with him in the fight against criminal elements in the society.

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Bello said his government has never discriminated against any group of people in the country, adding that those who want to cause unrest will be resisted and treated as criminals.

He said his government at some point supported in vaccinating cattle for the Fulanis free of charge several times as part of efforts in engendering peace and harmony between farmers and pastoralists.

Bello, however, said that some bad elements amongst the herdsmen who want to distort the peace of the region and the nation’s peace at large should be dealt with severely.

He said the North Central governors and governments will collaborate in terms of security intelligence gathering and form a strong synergy to flush out bandits in the region.

He urged citizens and community leaders in the North Central region to play leading roles in identifying bad elements in their domain and reporting same to security agencies with a view to routing criminalities out of the region.

Besides Governor Yahaya Bello, other North Central governors in attendance at the security summit include, Engr Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, Niger Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara, Plateau Governor Barr Simon Bako Lalong and Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom.

The summit also had in attendance, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the DIGs and AIGs in the zone; chairmen, Senate and House Committees on Police Affairs; representatives of other various security agencies,  prominent traditional rulers from the region, religious leaders and other critical stakeholders from the North Central geopolitical zone.

37 bandits and criminals including some who confessed to being part of those that carried out the attack on Tawari community in Kogi State early this month, who surrendered themselves and their weapon to the law enforcement agencies, were paraded by the police at the venue of the summit in Lafia.