“Blanket amnesty” for bandits may produce other criminals – Ndume

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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, has advised against granting “blanket amnesty” to bandits, warning it could breed another form of criminals.

Ndume (APC – Borno South) stated this on Sunday while weighing in on the controversy generated when popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi urged the Federal Government to dialogue with the bandits and offer them “blanket amnesty”.

While some have argued in support of Gumi’s proposition, saying every avenue should be explored to restore peace, many others disagree, saying granting amnesty to bandits was an admittance of the government’s failure, and would embolden other armed groups to spring up.

Speaking on a Channels Television programme, Ndume agreed with the latter.

“I don’t think blanket amnesty is the solution, because if you do that, another form of criminality may emerge, hoping that the government will bring them to the negotiation table.

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“I think the carrot-and-stick approach should be used in dealing with this kind of situation. We have to find out the root of the causes of this banditry were witnessing in the north-west particularly — the army of herders and people that are involved in this.

“The government, I think as a matter of emergency, should form a committee of eminent people or those people that can reach out and get to the root causes of this issue,” Ndume said.

He called on the government to speed up the prosecution of arrested bandits, saying such would serve as deterrence to others.

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