Talks with bandits like Niger Delta militants’ dialogue –IG

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Thursday backed the ongoing negotiations between northern state governors and bandits, saying they were “peace initiatives” that yielded results.

Adamu, who also claimed that the crime rate in the country had dropped “drastically” in the third quarter of the year, when compared with the second quarter, spoke after a security meeting in Abuja.

The IG and the security chiefs had met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Thursday before Adamu emerged from the meeting to brief State House correspondents.

Recall that the governors of Katsina and Zamfara states have been negotiating with the bandits terrorising communities in their states. Sokoto State too is on line to begin such negotiations.

In the course of the dialogues, bandits make open confessions of the killings they carried out and hand in their arms to the governors as a mark of repentance.

In return, the bandits demand the release of their colleagues by security agencies and walk home free.

When asked whether the police endorsed the strange arrangement, the IG said,

“In peace initiatives, you give something to get something. If dialogue can produce results, why do you want to use force,” the IG said.

Adamu compared the negotiations in the North-West to what happened years back in the Niger Delta, saying, “If you remember, some years back, we were having issues in the Niger Delta and those issues, kinetic actions could not solve the problem until amnesty and peace initiatives came up.

The IG, who said crime had dropped in the country, especially in the North-West, gave some statistics to back his position.

For instance, he said while in June, 111 murder cases were recorded “nationally”, it dropped to 99 in July and 80 in August.

Also, Adamu has declared that the Nigeria Police Force as constituted remains the best option for the country.

Adamu made the declaration against the clamour for state police. He argued that the state police not advisable on account of what he called, “the divisive politics of bitterness in the country.”

He said this at a one-day conference on ‘Effective policing strategies for Nigeria,’ organised by the Gusau Institute in Abuja on Thursday.

“The Nigeria Police Force as presently constituted remains the best option for our dear country; the community policing model which we have introduced can stem the insecurity in the country, but policing strategies must shift from reactive to modern proactive policing,” the IG stated.

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