Governor Umar Bago of Niger State has said his administration is discussing with bandits to find an amicable resolution in the issue of insecurity in the state.
Fielding questions from journalists, yesterday, when he visited the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Malagi, in Abuja, the governor said his administration was offering the bandits amnesty to drop their arms.
He said: “We are discussing with them to see how we can solve the problem amicably. However, we are battle-ready. We are discussing with them, not negotiation; talking to them to come out, drop their arms and be integrated into the society. It is a clarion call.
“Government is working and some of these things are not for public consumption; some of the things the security agencies are doing are not what we will come out and talk about before the cameras. I can tell you that the President is deeply concerned and is working round the clock to ensure that peace returns to Nigeria, and he will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that it happens.”
Bago stressed that the sub-national entities were keying into the programmes and projects of the President, adding: “Niger has 8.6 million hectares of land with 6,000sq km of arable land and four hydropower dams. It is 10 per cent of the total size of Nigeria. It is, therefore, poised and positioned for agriculture in terms of animal husbandry, crop production, aquaculture and other ways of food security.”
Earlier, the information minister had told the governor: “You are aware that President Tinubu’s administration has eight priority areas of focus, from security to food security, education, health, job creation and the turnaround of the economy.”
He recalled that Tinubu, on Monday, had his first meeting with the new Federal Executive Council (FEC), where he gave some form of marching orders to the ministers to ensure that the priority areas were known and felt by Nigerians.