Stephen Kenechukwu, The CableNG
The federal government has maintained that there is nothing wrong in dialoguing with bandits.
Last Wednesday, gunmen suspected to be bandits stormed the Government Science College (GSC) Kagara, Rafi LGA of Niger state, and kidnapped several students, members of staff, and some members of their families.
Abubakar Bello, governor of Niger, had noted that his government is doing everything to rescue the victims, including facilitating negotiations with the bandits.
While speaking during a radio programme monitored by NAN on Sunday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, responded to Nigerians who had spoken against the strategy of dialoguing with criminals.
Lai stated that nothing is wrong in dialoguing with bandits, as long as the ultimate objective is to make peace.
“After war, people still sit to dialogue. So if some people have taken it upon themselves to visit these people so that they can embrace peace, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that,” the minister explained.
Speaking further, he noted that the federal government will not pay any ransom to secure the release of abductees of GSC Kagara.
He also denied that ransom was paid to secure the release of over 300 children abducted in Kankara, Katsina state.
On the herders-farmers crisis in parts of the country, Lai said the government is taking steps to address it.
He said the steps include plans for intensive cattle-rearing to ensure that cattle rearing and crop farming don’t conflict.