Maj. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff, expressed his opposition to amnesty programs for bandits and terrorists within the country.
The army chief stated that the amnesty programs implemented in various states have failed to achieve their intended goals.
In his view, instead of repenting, individuals benefiting from such programs perceive them as opportunities to regroup and attack innocent citizens.
Lagbaja made these remarks during a courtesy visit by Zamfara State Governor Dauda Lawal in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said, “So, I want to appeal to Your Excellency that as we come up with a strategy to address the issue, the state government should be disposed to the implementation of the measures that we will recommend so that together we will address the activities of these criminal elements.
“We also have the issue of the amnesty programme that has been instituted and which has failed, not only in the North but also in many other states.
“I think we need to look at this issue of the amnesty programmes. The agreements have proven to be incorrigible, and so amnesty has created an avenue for them to reorganize and launch attacks on defenseless citizens. So, I think we need to look at that.”
Lagbaja highlighted that the insecurity plaguing Zamfara results from a combination of factors, including conflicts between farmers and herders, ethnic tensions, and the pursuit of economic survival.
He mentioned that he had issued orders to deploy additional platforms and allocate funds to restore non-operational platforms. This will enhance the effectiveness of the troops’ operations within the state.
The governor of Zamfara expressed his deep frustration with the prevailing insecurity in the state.
Lawal said, “I’m frustrated that Zamfara is facing serious security challenges. I will say without mincing words, Zamfara is the state facing the most challenges in insecurity today. Therefore, as the number one citizen, part of my responsibility is protecting lives and properties.
“It is sad to mention that there is never a day without people being killed in one area or local government or the other. This is very, very worrisome for us because, without security, development can’t take place.
“I cannot do this alone. I need the support of the Chief of Army Staff and his entire team. I need to bring peace to first Zamfara and then Nigeria in general.”