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Lead Dialogue talks, Bandits Tells Buhari

A group of bandits has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to personally oversee peace talks with them.

In the past few months, bandits have been carrying out series of attacks, killings and kidnappings across the northern states.

Shekh Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, had met with some of the bandits in the forests of Zamfara and Niger states presching and appealing for peace.

But in an interview with Daily Trust, a masked bandit said if Buhari could travel around the country when he was campaigning, nothing should stop him from coming for peace talks.

He said an agreement was earlier reached with his group, but they were soon abandoned in the forest.

“An agreement was reached, but you left that person in the forest with a gun and nothing to substitute. What do you expect? How do you want that person to survive? All the promises made to us none of it was fulfilled,” he said.

“The president should personally come and preside over the talks. When he was campaigning, he travelled all over, why would he not do it now? He does not take these peace talks seriously and everyday people are being killed.

“There is no day that someone is not killed between Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, Sokoto and Katsina. There is no tribe that is spared, gunmen kill, soldiers kill, vigilantes kill. Whoever you see with a gun today in Nigeria, he uses it to kill people. You may not know but if I were to tell you the situation of things in this country, you will cry. Even the president will cry.

“We supported this administration and accepted dialogue because we thought Buhari will fix this country, but he won’t fix this country. From the time he praised Goodluck, Obasanjo, and Yar’Adua, these were not praiseworthy. It would have been better if he had praised Abacha, because, under Abacha, pastoralists were being educated.

“During Abacha, there was allocation in the budget for the nomadic communities. There was no such thing again since Obasanjo became president. They stopped looking after the Fulanis. Their forests and grazing areas were taken over.”

He said they took up arms because they, as herders, were not carried along by the government.

According to him, the herders had no security as they were being killed, and the government didn’t do anything.

He also accused the government of not providing education and jobs for their young ones.

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