Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani-Bello, has said that bandits tricked the state to believe that they had repented and got money to buy more weapons for their gory attacks.
The governor said it was the reason the state government called off any form of dialogue with the criminals, stating that the terrorists tricked the state with fake repentance to get money to buy more weapons.
Sani-Bello said on realisation of the antics of the bandits, they stop any form of dialogue with the armed bandits.
He however said those who are ready to genuinely repent would be rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society without cash given them.
The governor who spoke on Thursday while he was with the vigilante group at Mariga local government said, “I am here to thank the vigilantes, boost their moral and to offer more support from the state government so that they can continue to support the police and other security agencies in the fight against bandits and other criminal tendencies.”
“Any bandit that surrenders his weapons and repents from his heinous way of living would be forgiven, and provided with a means of livelihood which would not necessarily include any cash backing.
“From experience, it has been discovered that the repentant bandits, after collecting cash from the dialogue option, they will purchase more weapons and return to their old ways of banditry.”
While lauding the efforts of the vigilantes in the state, Governor Sani-Bello added that compensation for the families of those who paid the ultimate prize was ongoing and would remain a continuous exercise.
He stated that to improve their onslaught against banditry, automatic Pump Action Guns and other sophisticated weapons would be provided for the vigilantes.
He assured that no threat would make him disband the vigilante in the state, saying “we are not going to disband vigilante because; even when banditry stops, the vigilante will remain to form a kind of security within the community.