Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south, says “blanket amnesty” for bandits will encourage other criminal groups to take up arms.

 

Ndume stated this when he featured on a Channels Television Programme on Sunday.

 

Recently, the Nigerian public space has been awash with arguments over whether there should be negotiations with bandits, following a request by Ahmad Gumi, a prominent cleric, that the federal government should dialogue and offer “blanket amnesty” to them.

 

Reacting, Ndume said another form of criminality may emerge if “blanket amnesty” is offered to bandits, as such new armed groups would hope that the government will also negotiate with them.

“I don’t think blanket amnesty is the solution, because if you do that, another form of criminality may emerge, hoping that the government will bring them to the negotiation table,” he said.

 

“I think the carrot-and-stick approach should be used in dealing with this kind of situation. We have to find out the root of the causes of this banditry were witnessing in the north-west particularly — the army of herders and people that are involved in this.

 

“The government, I think as a matter of emergency, should form a committee of eminent people or those people that can reach out and get to the root causes of this issue.”

 

The senator also called for a speedy justice system for the prosecution of suspected bandits, adding that it will help to discourage other such persons.

 

“A wholistic approach should be kickstarted to address this problem, and I believe that it can be done with all manner of seriousness. Time isn’t on our side, and more are coming in,” Ndume said.

 

“The other thing is that the system must invoke a fast justice system, where justice will be dispensed. I’ve said it several times that you see people paraded, and that would be the end of it. It seems that it’s a big network that must be busted by the government. And the earlier that is done, the better.”