Niger SSG meets bandits’ commanders, initiates peace process

The Secretary to the Government of Niger State (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, has appealed to bandits across the state to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue and reconciliation for peace to prevail.

A statement from the SSG Office on Friday stated that Matane made the plea in Dutsen Magaji, Mariga local government area of the state while addressing bandits and their commanders.

The SSG, who was accompanied by a renowned Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Abubakar Gumi , said, “I called on other criminal elements like the kidnappers and cattle rustlers to join in the peace dialogue process in order to put an end to the security challenges that have bedeviled the State over the years.”

“In furtherance to the peace dialogue initiative, I enjoined the commanders to support the government to secure the release of the abducted passengers of the Niger State Transport Authority and Students of Government Science College, Kagara.”

The SSG stressed the need for religious leaders and other stakeholders to embark on ways of getting the bandits, kidnappers, and cattle rustlers to key into the peace initiatives of the government.

In his remarks, Gumi expressed optimism that dialoguing with the bandits would put an end to the current insecurity in the state and country at large.

Sheikh Gumi reminded the hoodlums that Islam was against taking the lives of innocent people and appealed to them to embrace peace by laying down their arms.

Some of the commanders in their separate remarks applauded the state government for the peace process, stressing that it would go a long way in restoring peace across the state.

They appealed to the state government to assist in the release of their members arrested by security agencies and detained across the state for the peace process to thrive.

The highlight of the occasion, it learnt, was the distribution of Islamic books to the bandits by Sheikh Gumi to teach them the doctrine of Islam.

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