Governor Matawalle of Zamfara has said that not all bandits are criminals.
Speaking on the kidnap of Niger State students, he noted that he had advised advised his Niger counterpart, Abubakar Bello, to negotiate with bandits.
He added that negotiating with them does not signify weakness, but for peace to reign.
He said this after holding a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House on Wednesday.
Acccording to him, banditry had been there during the previous administration in Zamfara.
“It had been there for almost eight years before I came. Following the dialogue I initiated with the bandits, Zamfara is now very calm”, NAN quoted him as saying.
“I have advised the Governor of Niger to meet with all stakeholders and find out the root cause of the crisis so as to initiate dialogue and ensure reconciliation. That is the only way to achieve what I have been able to achieve in my State.
“Most of the criminals that caused trouble in Zamfara were not from my State. Two months ago, we had some repentant bandits who surrendered their weapons. One was from Yobe, two from Kaduna, two from Niger; so, you see, it is a gang.”