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Why give amnesty to criminals who kill, kidnap people? – Niger Senator kicks against amnesty for bandits

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Senator representing Niger-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Sani Musa
has kicked against calls for the notorious terrorists terrorising the northern region to be granted amnesty.

Musa stated this while speaking in an interview with Punch Newspaper on Sunday.

Recall that terrorists donning military uniforms on Wednesday morning stormed the Kagara school to carry out the abduction after killing a student.

Following negotiations between government officials, a Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi who acts as an intermediary, and the terrorists, there have been echoes that amnesty blankets should be given to the terrorists because they claim they were victims who took up arms to defend themselves.

Speaking with Punch, Musa rejected the suggestion saying the terrorists unlike the Niger Delta militants do not have an ideology behind their criminal activities.

“I don’t support any form of amnesty for bandits under whatever guise,” he said.

“There is no reason to give criminals amnesty. The promoters of amnesty for bandits are trying to compare it to the amnesty programme put in place for the ex-agitators and repentant Niger Delta militants but these are completely different issues.

“Apart from the economic sabotage they carried out to protest the injustice done to their environment and people by the government and the international oil companies, hardly will you hear that the militants left their base in the creeks and come to towns to kidnap innocent people or destroy their property.

“What is the demand of the criminals who live in the bush, come to town at will to kill and kidnap people and destroy their properties for no just cause? If you are giving amnesty, who are you giving amnesty to? What reasons do you have to give them amnesty? I don’t support it and my governor is also not in support of such an idea.”

Musa also revealed that rescue operations by security operatives had been difficult because the abductors have forced the hostages to wear military uniforms in order to make it difficult for them to be singled out.

He said, “The Inspector General of Police has deployed more than 150 operatives of the Mobile Police Special Squad to the area. My sources have told me they have identified the particular area where the bandits have taken the people to.

“At the moment, based on the aerial view analysis, it has been established that the bandits have forced the schoolchildren and their teachers to wear military camouflage.”

The Kagara abduction is one of the increasing spate of insurgency caused by the emergence of gun-wielding bandits that have become terrorists.

Public analysts have linked the increasing insurgency to a security architecture that can no longer serve the country’s security needs. Hence, the calls for community policing.

Musa however disagreed that the country needs a state police because of the problem of funding. He said most states cannot pay the salary of workers, and the creation of a state police will create additional financial burden.

He said, “I am not in support of the creation of state police at the moment because they would suffer the problem of funding. If the local government administration is not even functioning due to inadequate funding, is it the police unit of a state which the Chief Executive Officer of the state has control over that will perform?

“Most of the states cannot even pay half of the salaries of their workforce. They cannot pay workers’ salaries and you expect them to fund state police.

“There is no way the states, at the moment, could recruit 2, 000 security personnel each and effectively equip and fund them. What do you think will happen if we have state police whereby the personnel are owed salaries and don’t have arms and modern gadgets to operate?”

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