Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says his government would not consider amnesty for terrorists who some call ‘bandits’, terrorising many parts of the country.
The President made this known on Thursday while opening a joint security meeting of the Northern State Governors’ Forum, Northern Traditional Rulers Council, and a Federal Government delegation.
Buhari, represented by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, his Chief of Staff, stated that his government would deal with terrorists and other criminals decisively without ethnic profiling.
He revealed that he had directed his security chiefs to develop plans to end terrorism and criminality in the country.
Buhari’s statement was coming amidst calls by Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, an Islamic cleric, for the government to offer a blanket amnesty to the terrorists.
The cleric has been in various camps and hideouts of the criminals calling them to drop off arms and embrace peace.
However, President Buhari ruled out the possibility of granting amnesty to the criminals despite the calls.
“The Government shall continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens across the country,” he said.
He added that “Criminals are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly, without resorting to ethnic profiling.”
“I have already tasked the new Service Chiefs to devise new strategies that will end this ugly situation where the lives of our people continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.”
In attendance at the meeting were Governors Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina, Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto and Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state, while their deputies represented the others.
Traditional rulers in attendance were the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, Shehu of Borno, Umar Ibn El-Kenemi, Emir of Kano, Abdullahi Ado Bayero, Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya, Emir of Zazzau and Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamali among others.
The Federal Government’s delegation included Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase, who represented the Senate President and Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, among others.
President Buhari called on the attendants of the meeting to provide a solid foundation that would bring a solution to insecurity in Northern Nigeria.
“I expect that at this meeting, your Forum will also discuss and devise ways of building stronger collaboration with the security architecture and the people in defeating criminality across the region and the nation at large,” he said.
He noted that a nation’s security is linked to its democratic development and the rule of law.
“Democracy and the rule of law promote stability and in turn reinforce the power to assert freedom and economic progress of our people,” he said.
“Government also notes with satisfaction the deliberate actions of the 19 Northern States Governors’ Forum of inclusivity in addressing the challenges of governance and national development.”
“This is demonstrated in today’s event, wherein the Forum intends to receive and deliberate on the reports from Committees that were put in place to critically look at certain challenges of the region.”
“I urge that these crucial and robust reports should be assiduously studied and implemented without delay. This is because we are not short of policies but often faced with challenges of implementation.”
“You will be leaving a landmark in ensuring that the record reports are not left to rot on the shelves but used for the good of all,” Buhari advised