“I did not say all bandits are criminals” – Zamfara Gov. Matawalle clarifies

Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, has refuted the news reports that stated that he said not all bandits who terrorise parts of his State and other neighbouring States are criminals.

The governor yesterday clarified what he actually said  after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari  in Abuja.

According to a press statement issued by the Special Adviser to the governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, “A story carried by an online medium quoted Governor Bello Mohammed as saying that not all bandits are criminals.

It said, “Indeed, His Excellency was at the Presidential villa yesterday (Wednesday) to brief Mr. President on the security situation in the state; he also granted a short interview with the press crew at the Villa.

It further stated: “In that interview, he tried to make clear  his known and popular view that not all Fulani are criminals; he went on to explain the injustices meted on them such as rustling their cattle as reasons that pushed them to criminality.

“If indeed he mentioned the word BANDITS instead of FULANI, then it was an inadvertent mistake, as common sense dictates that banditry cannot at any time be justified as a non-criminality.

The statement called on all Nigerians who come across this story to disregard the message as that is not at all what His Excellency meant to say nor the kind of message he wanted to portray.

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