A former Chairman of the Committee on Prosecution of Bandits Related Offenses, Sani Shinkafi, has labelled the remarks made by the state governor, Dauda Lawal, with respect to the abduction of some students of the state’s Federal University, as “out of context.”
Shinkafi noted that the responsibility to protect the lives of Nigerians lies with the Federal Government.
He made the comments during his Wednesday interview on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme.
Earlier, The PUNCH had reported that Lawal, in a statement by his spokesperson, Sulaiman Idris, lamented the action of some Federal Government agencies engaged in negotiations with bandits without recourse to the state government.
In response, the Federal Government, through the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, denied embarking on any such negotiations, saying none of its officials was engaged in any negotiation with bandits in the state.
The FG further warned the governor against the politicisation of the security situation in his state.
Shinkafi, however, said, “The state governor accusing the Federal Government of negotiating with the bandits is out of context. We should not play politics with the lives of people and their property.
“The constitutional responsibility of any serious government is to serve people and also to provide security of lives and property. The responsibility lies within the ambit and the function of the Federal Government.”
Shinkafi noted that the state governor should be “very appreciative” if the “office of the NSA or the military or ministry of defence follows the approach to tackle the insecurity” in the state.
The former bandit prosecution chair lamented that the military is underequipped and understaffed, adding that the “terrain where the military is fighting these bandits is very difficult.”
According to him, for the state government to battle insecurity, it should adopt both a kinetic strategy, where a full military operation is deployed to combat banditry, and a non-kinetic strategy, where respectable members of society can be involved to prevent collateral damage, reduce insecurity, and promote peace in the state.”
With the joint efforts of security operatives, 13 students have been rescued so far.