Lagos – Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere; Second Republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed, and Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), on Wednesday condemned the decision by the governors of Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states to go into negotiations with armed bandits, who killed hundreds of people and destroyed properties of both individuals and government worth billions of naira, as against enforcing relevant laws of the country against criminality.
Speaking with Daily Independent, Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, said the action by the governors is a greatest testimony that Nigeria is a failed state.
According to him, for governors who are supposed to be the chief security officers of their states to start negotiating and begging criminal elements shows that Nigeria has deregulated violence.
“The action by the governors is the greatest testimony of failure of state. The governable space in Nigeria is shrinking and the authority of state actors dwindle daily.
“We have deregulated violence and non-state actors have taken the biggest chunk. Nigeria totters to the edge of the precipice”, Afenifere said.
On his part, elder statesman and Second Republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed, described as a dangerous trend negotiations with bandits by governors of the North-West.
Speaking with Daily Independent, Mohammed said the governors are helpless in tackling the security challenges in their states because they have been stealing the money earmarked for security while underfunding the police and other security agencies.
According to him, rather than negotiate, the governors should make judicious use of the huge security votes they are collecting to fund the police and other security agencies.
“I believe it is a very dangerous trend. It shows that the governors are not sincere and they have underfinanced the security system even though they make billions of naira in the name of maintaining security.
“Essentially, they have been stealing the money which was earmarked for security. So, I don’t accept the idea of negotiating with bandits. It is a bad idea and I believe instead of paying off the bandits, they can finance the police and assist the DSS and other security organisations.
“It shows what will happen in the state if governors are allowed to set up their private policemen. It is going to be disastrous and make Nigeria ungovernable”, he said.
Also speaking, Sagay said while he sympathizes with the governors who seem helpless in addressing the security challenges in their states, he disagrees with their method of negotiating with criminals who ought to be in condemned cells awaiting death.
“When you remove your toga of principles and go and negotiate with murderers, hoodlums who not only should be in prison but condemned cells, awaiting to be executed all because you want your people to be alive, it means we have lost the right to law. But we gained the preservation of the lives of the people which is also important.
“I think we should have fought harder to try to overcome these criminals because apart from the moral outrage that you are negotiating with murderers and they get away with it, we should ask that how many lives have we saved by doing that and is it worth it?
“I sympathize with the governors because it is he who wears the shoes that knows where it pinches. But I don’t agree with that method of negotiating with bandits”, he said.