Nigeria: Why We Did Not Meet With Bandits' Commanders - Niger SSG

The secretary to the Niger State government (SSG) Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Matane has given reasons why the government decided not to meet with the bandits commanders.

He said in Minna yesterday that the meeting was at the instance of one of the commanders and that the government decided not to meet them because it was a meeting among the commanders.

According to the SSG "One of the kingpins of the bandits' commanders was to call for a meeting to see how they would stretch that hands of dialogue within the state so that the state can be as peaceful as we would want it.

"He (the commander) called for a meeting in Shiroro and the meeting actually took place but the government was not represented because we have realised that the meeting was purely for other bandits in other locations."

He said the meeting of bandits' commanders was scheduled for last week Friday in Shiroro local government of the state and has actually been held but government was not represented.

He however said that government would have another interface with the commanders on some of their resolutions to identify the ones government could manage.

He said, "When they are through with that we will interface with them again to see some resolutions that government can also leverage on.

But like I have always said, dealing with security matters is like 'carrot and stick'.

The stick is still there as security agents are doing what they are supposed to do".

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