Katsina Governor Aminu Masari is one of the northwestern governors who has negotiated with bandits, while offering them amnesty for effect.
Governor Masari admits that negotiating with bandits was a mistake
The governor intends to ban open grazing of cattle like his counterparts in the south.
Now, he wishes he had never done any of those.
“The only thing I can say is that with the benefit of hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it. We realised: who are you talking with, because they do not have an umbrella.
“They are not pushing for any ideological view; they are not pushing for any religious view. They are simply bandits, criminals and thieves. Any person in the forest is a potential criminal and should be dealt with as such,” Masari says during a ChannelsTV breakfast programme.
The governor also says open grazing of cattle is un-Islamic and that a ban across the country has become imperative.
“We intend to ban unnecessary roaming about with cattle. But before we do that, we will make provisions where the animals will stay. I think the situation in the southern part of the country is slightly different from the northern part of the country.
“The majority of the herders are from the northern part of the country. So, for us, we need a law that should be obeyed, not one that will be disregarded.
"For us to come up with the law we will first of all put some structures on ground, then, we will have the law that can back up the structures so that nobody would roam or move about with cattle.
“Even that is un-Islamic. It says do not have the numbers you cannot feed that you have to stretch over to people’s land or on somebody’s farm.
"I do not think that it is right. And, certainly, once we put in place ranching for the grazing of all animals, the issue of anybody roaming about will be a thing of the past,” he says.
The governor adds that bandits are known to people in government and that they are mostly Fulanis.
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