Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi said that the Federal Government has a responsibility to reintegrate repentant bandits “peacefully and honourably into the society” because they are Nigerian citizens.
The minister, who disclosed this on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television, said the window is still open for bandits to surrender to the government and be reintegrated into the society.
Dingyadi admitted that the repentant bandits are criminals who have committed many atrocities and crimes, but according to him, they are protected by international laws.
He said the government is willing to listen to repentant bandits and settle them without cost in a bid to find a lasting solution to the security threats in the country.
“When you talk of amnesty, it is a relative term and what the Federal Government is trying to say is ‘Let us see those who have surrendered their arms, let us listen to them, let us chronicle them, let us receive them. We cannot just throw these people away because they are all Nigerians.
“Of course, they are criminals. They have committed atrocities, they have committed crimes, but according to the international laws, when you surrender from a war zone, you are not killed, you are not maimed, you are allowed to have your say.
“We are listening to them to see how we can integrate them into the larger society. What we are trying to do is to get them settled in their various communities, to let them have a kind of means of livelihood so that they can integrate peacefully and honourably into the society.”
“With all pleasure, anybody willing to surrender and do it honourably and honestly, government is ready to listen, government is ready to see what they can do to settle them down without much cost.
“As a nation we have responsibilities to our citizens, to integrate them with the little that we can afford to give them and we will continue to monitor what they are doing in their various communities to ensure that they don’t go back to their old days of armed banditry and all of them. We will monitor them and ensure that they don’t go back to their bad old days of armed banditry and kidnapping.”
KanyiDaily recalls that Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle had recently said that his administration was no longer interested in dialoguing with bandits as they have backed down from the amnesty given to them earlier.