Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle of Zamfara State said negotiation has been concluded with the son of a slain bandits’ leader, called Buharin Daji, his mother and a top leader of the bandits, saying they will soon lay down their arms.
The governor spoke while he received the delegation of the Kaduna-based cleric, Sheik Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, who was in the state to meet with bandits’ leaders to persuade them to embrace peace.
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He said the bandit’s decision to lay down his arms would be a turning point in the quest to bring back peace to the state, adding that he never regretted having a dialogue with the armed men in the state.
“If I had not had enough courage, I could have abandoned the peace deal with armed men because of the pressure being mounted on me by those who think there should not be such initiatives.
“I’m being blackmailed from different quarters for having a dialogue with the armed bandits.
“Some said I’m with them, others said I harbour them.
“We have seen the positive impacts of this deal. Rural markets are now picking up.
“We have rescued dozens of kidnapped victims without firing a single shot.
“If we know that force can stop the attacks, we won’t bother to have a dialogue with the armed men.
“And we will continue to do what. We feel it is good for our people irrespective of what other people would say,” Matawalle said.