On Tuesday, Governor Dauda Lawal asserted that the Zamfara State Government possesses substantial evidence that could reveal the individuals within the Federal Government involved in clandestine negotiations with bandits,Daily Trust reports.
Governor Lawal, who consistently opposed the notion of negotiating with bandits, previously sounded the alarm about covert discussions between the Federal Government and these criminal groups.
However, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, accused the Zamfara Government of exploiting security issues for political gain.
Nonetheless, in a statement issued on his behalf by his spokesman, Sulaiman Bala Idris, the Governor stated that he possesses evidence implicating certain Federal Government representatives in negotiations with bandits within Zamfara. He also expressed disappointment that the Information Minister discredited their claim without conducting a thorough investigation.
In his statement, Governor Lawal explained, “We sought clarification from the Federal Government regarding the surreptitious negotiations with bandits conducted by some of its representatives without involving the State Government and local security agencies. We have concrete facts and evidence of what transpired between these Federal Government agents and the bandits during negotiations at various locations across Zamfara.”
He further emphasized the need for the Information Minister to collaborate with relevant authorities to verify the authenticity of their claim, rather than dismissing it outright. The Governor reiterated that the Zamfara State Government respects established protocols and authority and will not publicly disclose the identities of Federal Government agents involved in secret dialogues with bandits.
Governor Lawal clarified that it is those individuals leading clandestine negotiations with bandits in Zamfara who are politicizing the issue of insecurity, not the State Government. He also pointed out specific locations where such talks had taken place, including Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Mun Haye, Ajah, Bawo, and Bagege.
The Governor stressed that negotiating with bandits in Zamfara is a serious mistake that should not be made, as it does not provide a solution to the problem and instead emboldens these criminals. He urged the Federal Government to take a strong stance against such activities and investigate the motives of those involved.