Zamfara State Governor Dauda Lawal has alleged that the Federal Government is negotiating with terrorists in the state without his knowledge.
Lawal, a member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has been critical of negotiating with terrorists.
He said he has reports that negotiations are being carried out with some terrorists in local governments in Zamfara State.
The governor called for a comprehensive investigation into what he calls “secretive” negotiations held with bandits in the state.
“Reports indicated that a delegation allegedly sent by some agencies of the Federal Government has been holding talks with bandit groups in Zamfara without the knowledge of the state government,” the governor said according to a statement by his spokesperson, Sulaiman Idris.
He lamented the action of some Federal Government agencies engaged in negotiations with bandits without seeking recourse from the state government and other security agencies.
“Governor Dauda Lawal wishes to call on the Federal Government to clarify and investigate the actions of some un0scrupulous elements sabotaging the ongoing fight against banditry in Zamfara.
“The Zamfara State Government has received reports of how some Federal Government delegation met with different bandit groups in Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Mun haye, Ajah, Bawo, and Bagege.
“Previous administrations in the state failed to achieve positive outcomes in their attempts to engage in dialogue with bandits. We must learn from these past mistakes and adopt a new approach to restore peace in Zamfara,” Mr Idris said.
The governor’s spokesperson reiterated Governor Lawal’s stand that his administration would not negotiate with terrorists.
“Ensuring the fight against banditry is a top priority of Zamfara State Government, and we cannot afford to make any compromises in our efforts. We urge the Federal Government to take swift action by terminating the ongoing negotiations with the bandits in Zamfara, as it undermines progress so far,” he added.
Federal University Gusau (FUGUS) in Zamfara State yesterday confirmed the rescue of 13 students and three others who were abducted by gunmen on September 22.
The university confirmed the development through its verified X (Twitter) handle @officialFUGUS.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Joint Task Force, Operation Hadarin-Daji, had earlier rescued six female students of the institution who were among the unspecified number of students abducted on September 22.
The female students were abducted from their rented hostels at Sabon-Gida, about 200 metres from the university campus.
The gunmen also abducted nine construction workers of a company, GUPRAN Engineering Services Ltd, who were executing a project in the university.