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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday downplayed the possibility of the Federal Government granting amnesty to criminals and bandits.
Buhari warned that his government would deal decisively with all forms of criminality in the country.
He spoke while declaring open a joint security meeting of the Northern State Governors’ Forum, Northern Traditional Rulers Council and delegation from the Federal Government.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, Buhari said he has directed the security chief to evolve strategy on how to deal with all forms of criminalities.
He said: “I must appreciate the efforts of the 19 Northern States Governors’ Forum for their contribution towards national growth and development, especially in this challenging period in our nation’s being where certain fundamental corporate existence needs to be frankly deliberated upon and actionable resolutions reached.
“At the same time, we are confronting the various dimensions of security challenges that continue to slow down the emancipation of our people from poverty and economic deprivation. The Government shall continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens across the country.
“Criminals are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly, without resorting to ethnic profiling. I have already tasked the new Service Chiefs to devise new strategies that will end this ugly situation where the lives of our people continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.”
Buhari’s comment is coming at a time popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi had called on the federal government to grant amnesty to bandits.
Gumi had explained that granting amnesty to bandits was better than engaging them in what he termed “operation fire-for-fire.”
He had also pointed out that amnesty to bandits would help calm down the tense insecurity situation.