Secretary to the State Government of Niger Ahmed Matane has led state delegation to meet with bandits over the abduction of students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara; and passengers of Niger State Transport Authority mass transit.
He was accompanied by Kaduna-based Islamic scholar Sheikh Abubakar Gumi.
Matane addressed the bandits and their commanders in Dutsen Magaji, Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State, urging them to embrace peace dialogue being initiated by the government.
One of the conditions given by the bandits is for the government to release their fighters being held by the country’s security forces.
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The SSG said religious leaders and other stakeholders would be included in the engagement of bandits, kidnappers, and cattle rustlers in peace initiatives initiated by the government.
Gumi expressed optimism that dialoguing with the bandits will put an end to the current insecurity in the state and country at large.
Leaders of the bandits applauded the state government for the peace talks.
Gumi distributed Islamic books to bandits to enlighten them on the doctrine of Islam.