President Muhammadu Buhari has admonished state governors to stop dialoguing with bandits and rewarding them with money and vehicles.
Mr Buhari gave the warning on Friday while reacting to the early abduction of schoolgirls in Zamfara State.
Bello Metawalle, the state governor, has been on the forefront of negotiating and rewarding criminals in his domain with money and vehicles. His Katsina counterpart, Aminu Masari is not left out having been pictured with bandits terrorising his state.
In a statement by his spokesman Garba Shehu, the president warned that such initiative should be stopped as it might backfire with dire consequences.
“State Governments must review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles. Such a policy has the potential to backfire with disastrous consequences. States and local governments must also play their part by being proactive in improving security in and around schools,” Mr. Buhari said.
The president said his administration will not “succumb to blackmail by bandits and criminals who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.”
Mr. Buhari, who has overtime been criticised for his administration’s inability to curb security challenges, asked the bandits to shun illusions that they are more powerful than the government, while stressing that “they should not mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or irresolution.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian leader has dismissed calls demanding amnesty for the criminals who are at large in Northern Nigeria.