How I negotiated with bandits as LG Chairman – Niger governor’s aide
Worried by endless banditry attacks in Niger State, the the Special Adviser to the governor of Niger State on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Gambo Kagara said informants and some miscreants are responsible for the increasing rate of banditry activities in part of Kagara and its environs.
Alhaji Gambo who was speaking in an exclusive interview with CAPITAL POST in Minna, said the activities of the informants is even more worrisome than the activities of the armed bandits in Kagara town.
He noted that most of the armed banditry attacks on Kagara town and its surrounding communities were being carried out by strangers that come from neighbouring States of Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna through information received from their informants who are mostly residing in Kagara town, adding that the informants know the movement of the people and gives out detail of their transaction before the bandits carry out their operations.
According to him, with the support of the informants, the bandits will infitrate the town and successfully carry out their attack on their victims freely without any hindrance before going out of the town, stating that without such informants, “there was no way that the bandits will succeed without being arrested by the security agencies”.
Gambo said: “At times these bandits will even tell their victims that you sold your farm products and your livestocks in so so and so markets.
“And you are in possession of some amount of money. You eigther bring out the money or you risk being kidnapped and you will pay huge amount of money. You are left with an option to decide on your own what is good for you”, he said.
Alhaji Gambo Kagara, who was the immediate past Chairman of Rafi Local Government Council explained that during his tenure as the Council chairman, he was able to use his political will to invite some of the identified notorious bandits within the neghbouring States of Katsina, Kaduna and Zamfara states for a dialogue along with relevant stakeholders and security chiefs in the State where he extended his hands of fellowship to them to see reasons to renounce their banditry activities in Kagara town and its environs which brought about the relative peace he was able to enjoyed during his administration as the council chairman of Rafi Local Government.
“That singular political will, I adopted by bringing out the bandits for a negotiation brought about the relatively peace in Kagara town and its surrounding communities. Uptill the time I left the council I never had any banditry attacks on Kagara again untill now” he told CAPITAL POST.
He pointed out that when his opinion was sought on how to curtail the increasing rate of armed banditry attacks in recent times, he said by the time the informants were flushed out from the town, the activities of the bandits will be brought under control and to the barest level.
By the time the informants were given the maximum punishment which will serve as a deterrent to other bandits, it would curtail the incessant activities of banditry attacks on Kagara and the neighbouring villages.
“When I was at the council as chairman, my opinion was sought on how to curtail the banditry activities in Kagara town. I told them that I don’t have any problem with the bandits but their informants that lives with us in the town.
“For me if the bandits were arrested, they should allow them to go but their informants should face the music by flushing them out so that they would not exist to give out informations to the bandits for them to carry out their attack on the town anymore.
“By the time, two or five of the informants were flushes out, it will send a signal to the bandits. They will not come to carry out their activities in Kagara, because their informants were no more. That was my stand then. And up till the time I ended up my administration, I never had any attack by armed bandits throughout the end of my tenure as Council chairman” he added.
He noted that security should be seen as a collective responsibility of every citizens stressing the needs for all stakeholders to partner with relevants security agencies in the State to fight the security challenges across the country through the needed support and cooperation to the security agencies, assuring that through such synergy the increasing rate of armed banditry activities in the state will be brought to the barest level.
He appealed to the people of Kagara to always keep a watch on their neighbourhoods and be vigilant at all times, stating that they should endeavour to report unusual movement in their midst to the appropriate security agencies for prompt attention this according to him will assist in curtailing the increasing proportion of banditry activities in the area.
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