Governor Bello Matawalle has said negotiation with bandits is the best option for lasting peace in the state just as he said he has no regrets in his administration choosing that option.
Mr Matawalle made this assertion in the wake of opinions being expressed as to the efficacy of the method in solving the lingering insecurity in the North-West.
“We applied the peace accord as a means of honest solution to the problem in Zamfara State which has yielded tremendous result never expected in the last one year,” Mr Matawalle observed.
He said that amidst heavy presence of the military and relentless offensives against the bandits under his administration, the wanton killings and maiming by bandits was still increasing in a fearful proportion.
“However, our honesty and focus in the deal saw the near total drop in banditry attacks which allowed our roads, markets, schools and farms to be re-opened. In the same vein, nearly 1000 persons were willingly released by the ex-bandits and thousands of dangerous weapons willingly surrendered without payment of a single kobo”, Mr Matawalle said.
He said the peace accord initiated by his administration has achieved in his first three months more than what its absence achieved in eight years.
Governor Matawalle said the different past peace accords employed in the state or elsewhere totally differ in approach and content from that of his administration.
“We categorically made it clear that money was not part of the negotiations. Everyone must come to the table with honesty and genuine intention to end the carnage in our state. Nobody was enjoying the trend, including the so-called bandits”, the governor noted.
Mr Matawalle said he believes that the method applied by his administration in the pursuit of peace is still the best where those who agree to the peace (who are the majority) will be pardoned to live a normal life while those who refuse (who are minority) will face the wrath of our security operatives.