Commanders host peace meeting in Niger state

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The Commanders of various bandits groups operating across Niger state have held a meeting to deliberate on how to hold peace dialogue with the state government.

The Nation learnt that the meeting was held Friday in Shiroro local government area of Niger state.

The meeting, it was learnt, had been called by one of the Kingpin Commanders and was attended by bandits in the state.

However, the state government was not represented in the meeting.

It would be recalled that the state government had said that it would meet with Fulani herdsmen and bandits to deliberate on how to have lasting peace in the state.

The Secretary to the Niger State Government, Ahmed Ibrahim Matene confirmed that the meeting held but without any representative of the state government adding that the reason why the government was not represented was that they realized that the meeting was purely for the bandits in other locations.

“One of the kingpin commanders called for a meeting to know how they would stretch the hands of dialogue with the state government so that there would be peace in the state.

“It was their meetings and they held it and they talked about how we can have peace in the state. And how the banditry activities in the state will end.

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“When they are through with that, we will interface with them again to see some resolutions that government can also leverage,” Matane said.

Matane further said that the state government is still stretching its hands of peace to any of the bandits interested in dropping their arms and embracing a legitimate lifestyle.

He added that this does not mean the government will abandon the carrot and stick approach, “the stick is still there as security agents are doing what they are supposed to do.”

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