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Why Negotiations With Bandits Is Wrong – Zamfara Gov

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Zamfara State Governor, Lawal Dauda, on Wednesday, addressed pressing concerns regarding security challenges and the minimum wage crisis during an interview with Channels TV.

Dauda highlighted security as the paramount concern, emphasizing the prevalence of kidnapping, cattle rustling, and banditry across various local government areas.

He asserted that addressing these security threats is imperative, as they overshadowed other challenges like illegal mining.

“Security is number one,” Governor Dauda stated emphatically. “How do we secure this state? Mining is not much of a headache—believe me.

“The headache is the kidnapping, cattle rustling, the banditry activities in almost all the local government areas in the state.”

Addressing the issue of negotiations with kidnappers, Dauda emphasized the futility of monetary negotiations, asserting that empowering perpetrators only exacerbates the problem.

 He stressed the importance of political will and coordinated efforts among security agencies to swiftly tackle the root causes of insecurity.

“If we are able to take care of that (kidnapping), (illegal) mining is nor an issue. We know who they are and where they live, its just there is no political will. “What are you negotiating? The more you give them money (the kidnappers), you’re empowering these people and the more they buy weapons, which they use in killing people.

“So, what are you negotiating? If we are committed, the military as well as the other security agencies, with political will as I have said, in two weeks, we can crush the guys. We know where they live, they are within the community.”

“On the issue of minimum wage crisis,” Dauda explained, “since the creation of Zamfara State, there has been no concept of a minimum wage.”

He revealed that until recently, some workers were earning as low as ₦7,000 monthly.

However, his administration has taken steps to implement the ₦30,000 minimum wage and clear salary backlogs and outstanding pension payments.

Regarding the feasibility of meeting the ₦60,000 minimum wage demand, Governor Dauda expressed willingness to explore options despite uncertainties, stating, “We will do all the calculations and see what we can do. There is no guarantee, but yet, we will meet somewhere.”

When questioned about the agricultural sector, Governor Dauda highlighted the state’s historical reliance on agriculture and acknowledged the challenges posed by insecurity, hindering farming activities.

He emphasized that addressing security concerns would significantly revitalize the agrarian economy of Zamfara State.

In addressing security concerns, Governor Dauda revealed efforts to implement both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches, including negotiations with bandits. However, he underscored the importance of negotiating from a position of strength rather than weakness, emphasizing the need for decisive action to combat banditry effectively.

Governor Dauda also expressed frustration with the lack of adequate briefing to the President regarding the situation in Zamfara State, emphasizing the need for heightened attention and resources to combat the escalating banditry crisis.

“In solving Zamfara, you have solved more than 90% of banditry issues in Northern Nigeria,” Governor Dauda concluded, highlighting the significance of addressing the root causes of insecurity in the state.

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