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No Regret Negotiating with Terrorists, still the best option for peace – Governor Mattawalle

Admist wide condemnations of strategy to dialogue or negotiate with terrorists and recent denouncing of dialogue by Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, his counterpart in Zamfara State, Bello Mattawalle, has said that he has no regret entering into dialogue with the armed groups.

In a statement signed by Zailani Bappa, Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications, Mattawale said dialogue was the best option for achieving peace in the state.

“We applied the peace accord as a means of honest solution to the problem in Zamfara state which has yielded tremendous result never expected in the last one year,” Matawalle said.

He said the strategy ensured the reopening of roads, markets and farms, adding that the progress made surpassed the gains made through force eight earlier.

The governor said no money was paid to the terrorists but instead there was an open display of honesty by both sides

“We categorically made it clear that money was not part of the negotiations. Everyone must come to the table with honesty and genuine intention to end the carnage in our state. Nobody was enjoying the trend, including the so-called bandits,” he said.

The governor said he believed that the method applied by his administration in the pursuit of peace was “still the best where those who agree to the peace (who are the majority) will be pardoned to live a normal life while those who refuse (who are minority) will face the wrath of our security operatives.

Below is the full text of the statement

 

ZAMFARA STATE GOVT HOUSE

(PRESS RELEASE)

NO REGRETS NEGOTIATING WITH BANDITS, STILL THE BEST OPTION TO PEACE.

Governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun) has said that negotiating with bandits is the best option to lasting peace just as he has no regrets exerting efforts of his administration on that path.

Governor Matawalle made this essertion in the wake of opinions being expressed as to the efficacy of the method in solving the lingering peace challenges in the North-West.

“We applied the peace accord as a means of honest solution to the problem in Zamfara State which has yielded tremendous result never expected in the last one year,” Matawalle observed.

He said that amidst heavy presence of the Military and relentless offensives against the bandits at the wake of his administration, the wanton killings and maiming by bandits was still increasing in a fearful proportion.

“However, our honesty and focus in the deal saw the near total drop in banditry attacks which allowed our roads, markets, schools and farms to be re-opened. In the same vein, nearly 1,000 persons were willingly released by the ex-bandits and thousands of dangerous weapons willingly surrendered without payment of a single kobo”, Matawalle said.

He said the peace accord initiated by his administration has achieved in his first three months more than what its absence has achieved in eight years.

Governor Matawalle noted that the different past peace accords employed in the state or elsewhere totally differ in approach and content from that of his administration.

“We categorically made it clear that money was not part of the negotiations. Everyone must come to the table with honesty and genuine intention to end the carnage in our state. Nobody was enjoying the trend, including the so-called bandits”, the Governor noted.

Matawalle therefore, believes that the method applied by his administration in the pursuit of peace is still the best where those who agree to the peace (who are the majority) will be pardoned to live a normal life while those who refuse (who are minority) will face the wrath of our security operatives.

Zailani Bappa
Special Adviser
Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications.

5/7/2020


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