Northwest Nigeria Governor Says He Will No Longer Dialogue With Terrorists

The governor of Zamfara State has backtracked on his former stance of ‘dialogue and reconciliation’ which guided his treatment of ‘bandits’ in the past.

Bello Mattawale, the Governor of Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria has said that his administration will no longer entertain dialogues with criminal gangs who have been terrorising the state. 

The governor disclosed this on Friday, Sept. 10, after a Jum’at session in Gusau, the state capital.

In a video obtained by HumAngle, he was seen addressing an applauding crowd. “Politicians distributing motorcycles must stop. We will not dialogue again. We will continue to fight the bandits and deal with them,” he said.

According to Mattawale, “they (terrorists) sent a powerful committee to plead with us (Zamfara State) to cease fire and allow supply but I refused.”

In Feb. 2021, terrorists, locally called ‘bandits’ attacked Government Girls’ Secondary School in the Jangebe area of Zamfara and abducted 317 schoolgirls. The girls were released a few days after, amidst rumours of ransom payment.

Since the infamous Jangebe abduction, the state has suffered numerous attacks leading to mass abductions and gruesome killings.

Before now, the governor had insisted on “dialogue and reconciliation” as the right approach towards ending terrorism in the state. He had, in February, received ‘repentant bandits’ and called on Nigerians to appreciate his efforts.

But after several months of terror onslaught, the governor has made a U-turn and put strict security measures in place to tackle insecurity in the State.

On Friday, he said, “What we are doing to bandits now is to send them to God so they can answer their questions.”


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Chigozie Victor

Chigozie Victor is a journalist and a creative writer. Her work focuses on SGBV, policy and security infrastructure. The graduate of English and Literature from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka is passionate about helping audiences understand salient issues through clear reporting and multimedia journalism. She tweets at @nwaanyi_manaria

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