One week after the Niger State government entered into a peace deal with bandits, the effort has brought some level of peace in the affected areas. No fewer than 35 bandits have voluntarily surrendered their arms in a quiet ceremony as requested by the bandits in Minna during the week. The bandits, it was gathered, told the government that more of them are ready to surrender their arms but needs the government assurance of rehabilitating them.
Meanwhile, the communities in the state that have been under siege following activities of bandits have commended the state government for entering into a peace deal with the bandits. The communities said the peace deal with the bandits by the government was long overdue as the people said they can now heave a sigh of relief after months of an onslaught by armed men. Governor Abubakar Sani Bello had as part of an effort to ensure the bandits surrendered their arms, entered into peace negotiation with the bandits terrorising communities in the state.
The peace deal paid off two weeks ago when the state government, as part of activities to mark World Peace Day, released 13 bandits who had been in custody, as a first step to the peace efforts. This development has brought great relief to some of these communities as the people are now gradually returning to their homes after weeks at the IDPs camps scattered across the three most affected local government areas.
Some of the community leaders who spoke to our correspondent described the government’s peace as welcome development, stressing that the peace would enable them to return to their farming business. Adamu Abdullahi from the Kusherki community said all they wanted from the government is to ensure peace in their community.
“We have lost everything to these bandits. But now we sleep with our eyes closed. I lost many properties during the attacks but I thank God peace has finally come,”
When contacted, the press secretary to the governor, Mrs. Mary Noel Berge, confirmed the development, saying that the peace deal was part of the resolutions of the northern governors after its security meeting in Zamfara State recently.
“We this development, we are optimistic that peace will return to the affected communities so that the people can return to their homes,”