Why We Entered Swap Deal With Bandits— Police IG

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By Williams Anuku

Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on Thursday, explained that security operatives were constrained to enter swap deals with bandits terrorizing parts of the country, as a means of reducing the tempo of kidnappings and other anti-social vices.

He said realizing that kinetic approach to solving the spate of kidnapping and banditry was no longer effective; government had to settle for swap deal which was gradually paying off.

The IG, while addressing State House correspondents, after a brief Security Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, likened the deal to the amnesty programme offered by the administration of former President Umaru Yar’Adua when militants in the Niger Delta took toll on oil facilities in their domain.

Recall that in Zamfara State, the local vigilantes, otherwise known as Yan Sakai, engaged in an exchange of captives with bandits.

Some 25 Fulani women, men, and children held by the Yan Sakai since last April were recently released to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Usman Nagoggo.

Nagoggo had explained that the exchange was part of the agreement reached with bandits in the state, adding that the captives would be handed over to Governor Bello Matawalle and would be kept in safe custody until the bandits release their captives.

Meanwhile, the IG said security strategies being deployed by the police were paying off as there has been steady decline in crime rate in the country.

He supported his claims with statistics, saying there was a noticeable decrease especially in Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna States.

“For instance, in June, 2019, a total of one hundred and eleven (111) murder cases were reported nationally, while it reduced to ninety-nine (99) in July and eighty (80) in August.

“One hundred and eighty-three (183) armed robbery incidents were reported in June, with the rate dropping to one hundred and twenty-seven (127) in July and ninety-six (96) in August, 2019. Similar decline was noticed in the rate of kidnapping with one hundred and thirty-four (134) incidents recorded in June, which declined to one hundred and twelve (112) in July and further declined to eighty-three (83) in August,” he stated.

Buttressing why the swap deal became necessary, the IG said, “When talking about peace initiative, there are a lot of things that we take into consideration, you give out something to get something. And this peace initiative has not started with the bandits in the North Western part of this country with the bandits, 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 initiative came up and what we had had in Niger Delta had gone.

“So, I think part of the strategy to deal with challenges in terms of either security or war, there is peaceful negotiation too. So it is not that you are a bandit and on the course of the banditry you committed crime you must be punished when there is peace initiative going on. If you refused to accept the peace initiative of course you have to face the consequences”.

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