Katsina state government has inaugurated a 15-man Committee on Dialogue and Amnesty to parley with cattle rustlers operating in the forest across the state.
Speaking while inaugurating the committee in Katsina on Saturday, Gov. Aminu Masari mandated the committee to meet with various gangs of cattle rustlers operating in the state with a view to identifying their grievances, and advice the government, accordingly.
He also asked members of the committee to consult widely with stakeholders and engage religious and traditional leaders in order to convince the rustlers to repent and accept government’s amnesty.
Masari expressed hope that after a ceasefire, the rustlers would submit their weapons and be willing to embrace rehabilitation programme for reintegration into the society.
“The government decides to employ dialogue after it had used force by about 80 per cent and yielded no much positive results.
“The ongoing negotiations are aimed at eradicating the menace completely in all the 10 local government areas affected by the problem,’’ he said.
The governor, therefore, appealed to the cattle rustlers in the state to embrace the government’s amnesty programme.According to him, the state government will provide social amenities to the repentant rustlers to improve their living conditions.
The committee has Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Mustafa Inuwa, as chairman while representatives of Civil Society Organisations, farmers and pastoralists associations, Katsina and Daura Emirates will serve as members.
Members of the committee also include the State Police Commissioner, Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Army, the Director, Department of State Security and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC).
Others are the Commissioners of Justice, Information, Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs.
In his remarks, the chairman of the committee, Alhaji Mustafa Inuwa, assured that the committee would tap from the experience and resourcefulness of its members to deliver on its mandate.