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Rehabilitate bandits, they are intelligent — Ex-Minister

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Former Minister of Communication, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, has canvassed for the salvation of the bandits tormenting the Northern region.

Shittu who was a guest on Politics Today, a programme of Channels TV, argued that many of the bandits are very intelligent.

He said their intelligence could be positively utilised for the benefit of the country just as some Boko Haram operatives were rehabilitated by the Federal Government

He said, “If I am in position, it is not too late to use non-kinetic measures in negotiating with bandits, giving them a promising future.

“Let us retain them. Many of them are very intelligent, many of them are able-bodied,” he added.

According to him, the military spending on equipment far outweighed the approach of negotiation.

Shittu noted that the government should negotiate with bandits “for the purpose of resettling, rehabilitating and retraining them.”

He, however, said it is important that the government proffers lasting solution to the crisis of banditry “to ensure we have peace, to ensure that these people lay down their arms and ammunition and add value to their own lives and for them to also contribute to nation-building.”

He said the society had abandoned the bandits over the years, adding that the bandits are also citizens of Nigeria and they should be given a chance through training and de-radicalisation.

Shittu said, “The more skills you are able to give to the largest number of them, the less the propensity for them to go back (to crime) if they are assured that a promising future awaits them after going through the deradicalisation processes and skills’ training.

“At the end of the day, the amount of money we are spending on the Armed Forces to confront these people, it looks like their number is endless because in the bush we have have thousands of groups, particularly in the North-West and North-East.

“So, instead of wasting too much money on acquiring arms and ammunition, let us rearrange, let us find a way, after every war, there must still be coming to the round table, negotiate,” he said.

 

 

 

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