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Granting amnesty to bandits created avenue to reorganise and attack citizens – COAS Taoreed Lagbaja

Jul 13, 2023 #News

Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff has said that the amnesty program initiated by former Governor of Zamfara state, Bello Matawalle, is a failed project. 

The COAS who hosted current Governor of the state, Dauda Lawal, in Abuja on Wednesday, July 12, said the amnesty program gave bandits the opportunity to regroup, reorganise and attack citizens.

Lagbaja said; 

“We also have the issue of the amnesty programme that has been instituted, and which has failed not only in Zamfara, but so many other states of the north-west.

“So, I think we need to look at this issue of the amnesty programme because the criminal elements have proven to be incorrigible.

“The issue of amnesty has created an avenue for them to regroup and reorganise to launch attacks on our defenceless citizens. So I think we need to look at that.”

The COAS who further revealed that he has directed the deployment of more platforms and the release of funds to reactivate unserviceable ones to boost troops’ operations in the state, also noted that the Zamfara crisis is a mix of farmer-herder clashes, ethnic confrontations and the quest for economic empowerment driven by mining activities.

Lagbaja added; 

“We will not have a situation where some people constitute themselves into outlaws and just go into communities and kill children and defenceless women.

“By working on this with the state government and other critical stakeholders, we can eliminate these outlaws and reduce the insecurities by a significant percentage.

“So I want to appeal to you your excellency that as we come up with this strategy to address the issue of the Yan Sakai and other regional groups, the state government should be disposed to the implementation of the measures that we will recommend.

“So that together, we will address the activities of these criminal elements.”

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