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We’ll be seen as weak if we dialogue with bandits, says FG

The Federal Government has ruled out the option of negotiating with bandits who are wreaking havoc across the country. Sheik Ahmad Gumi, respected Islamic Scholar,…

The Federal Government has ruled out the option of negotiating with bandits who are wreaking havoc across the country.

Sheik Ahmad Gumi, respected Islamic Scholar, is one of the influential personalities who has recommended dialogue with bandits as a means of achieving peace.

But speaking at a press briefing in Aso Rock on Thursday, National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), said negotiating with bandits will give the impression that the federal government is weak.

“The government is tackling the problem of insecurity, we’ve said this many times that there are two phases in solving this problem –the soft approach: talking, negotiating, and so on and so forth.

“While the government is not averse to talking to these entities, these human beings, I have to be very honest, the government has to apply its weight, that force that is required because you can’t even talk with people who are unreliable, who will turn out to do a different thing and people who will continue to hurt society.

“So, basically, what the government wants to rely upon is to deal with this issue by using all the assets – military assets, intelligence assets to eliminate these people.

“If along the line, some of them are ready to come out and talk and negotiate, when the time comes, we will do that but for now, we can’t keep on dwelling on ‘Let’s dialogue’. Psychologically, dialogue is not even good for us, it paints the picture of weakness, it paints the picture of incapacity and I, just like the governor of Kaduna State said, do not see any reason why we cannot, with what we have, deal with these elements.”