Some media have carried a report extracted from yesterday’s meeting with His Excellency, Governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun) and coalition of Security Chiefs delegated by President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the way forward in the current fight against banditry in the State
The reporting media quoted Governor Bello Mohammed as saying that he would give two cows to any bandit who surrender an AK 47 as compensation which is attracting a lot of criticisms from the general public.
Indeed, good and responsible Journalism is about being fair and just to every newsmaker, News source and those involved in the report. Quoting anyone out of context is not only unfair and unjust but also unprofessional. Governor Matawalle was grossly quoted out of context.
The peace initiative introduced by the administration of Bello Matawalle in the last one year brought the relative peace we are enjoying in the state without any monetary inducement or “trade by barter” with the bandits. All the over 1000 kidnapped victims released got their freedom without a kobo paid as ramsom. That is also true with the nearly 200 sophisticated weapons surrendered willingly by the ex bandits in the last one year.
The peace initiative has a clause where His Excellency promises to re-settle those who have willingly accepted to abandon crime and settle down as normal people. That is why the idea of constructing RUGA by the state Government came to being.
Hence, the cows promised by Governor Bello Mohammed are for those who accepted the peace accord and have re-integrated into the society to live a normal life because it is their cattle they sold to buy the sophisticated weapons which they have now surrendered.
It is true, practical and verifyable that the ex-bandits who have laid down their arms are now living a normal life in our communities and are even helping the security agencies in dealing with their recalcitrant colleagues who are still hiding in the bush unleashing terror on our local communities.
It is therefore, very uncharitable to allege a “trade – by – barter” between the bandits and the state Government instead seeing it as a genuine attempt to empower those remorseful and repentant bandits who have since joined the community to live a normal life.