Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle says dialogue remains the only option to end banditry in the country.
Matawalle said this while fielding questions from journalists during his official visit to Adamawa state to witness the inauguration of Phase II rural roads projects and distribution of maintenance equipment held at Kuva-Gaya in Hong Local Government Area of the state.
This is coming three days after Kadnua State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said during an interview with BBC Hausa that he did not believe in dialoguing with bandits, because an herdsmen who is used to earning millions of naira after kidnaping should just be consider for a peace deal.
El-Rufai suggested a coordinated approach by Northern governors, like they did with the farmers/herders crisis, rather than negotiation.
El-Rufai was reacting to the activities of a Kaduna-Based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, who has been visiting bandits in their enclaves and preaching to them to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue.
Sharing Gumi’s idea, Matawalle said: “If really we want to end this banditry activity, we have to sit on a round table and negotiate.
“Because, through dialogue and reconciliation we are able to secure the release of many people who were under captivity of kidnappers.
“So, the best way out for my colleagues, governors, is for them to subscribe for dialogue.”
He said the dialogue option was not meant not to fight for those that refused to repent, but a carrot and stick approach.