Maigari Dingyadi, Nigeria’s minister of police affairs, has given hope of respite for repentant bandits, stating that they are Nigerian citizens and that government has a duty to “peacefully and honorably” to reintegrate them into society.
He also said the window is still open for bandits to surrender to the government and be reintegrated into the wider society, according to a report in the PUNCH newspaper.
The minister spoke on Tuesday when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ current affairs program monitored by The PUNCH.
Commenting on the ongoing onslaught against bandits in the North-West states of Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, amongst others, Dingyadi said the government will continue to record successes against bandits as long as the security agencies continue to work in synergy.
“You are going to see more successes coming up in the next couple of days,” he said, adding that the security forces were working more on the precision of their intelligence and the sophistication of their equipment to achieve greater victory against the marauders,” the minister volunteered.
Asked whether the window of amnesty is still open for bandits willing to surrender, the minister said, “When you talk of amnesty, it is a relative term and what the Federal Government is trying to say is that: Let us see those who have surrendered their arms, let us listen to them, let us chronicle them, let us receive them, we cannot just throw these people away because they are all Nigerians.”
“Of course, they are criminals, they have committed atrocities, they have committed crimes, but according to the international laws, when you surrender from a war zone, you are not killed, you are not maimed, you are allowed to have your say. We are listening to them to see how we can integrate them into the larger society.”
“What we are trying to do is to get them settled in their various communities, to let them have a kind of means of livelihood so that they can integrate peacefully and honourably into the society.”