Ø As Buhari rules out amnesty, says ‘it’s time to treat criminals as criminals’
The Federal Government appears to be under pressure to grant amnesty to bandits ravaging the country, with the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), backing the Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi’s stance on the matter.
The CNG spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, addressing newsmen in Abuja, further supported the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, who had resolved to halt movement of goods to the South until compensation are given to northerners who have suffered attacks in the region.
The group blamed the country’s security challenges on southern politicians who are demanding for power shift to the South, saying it also sensed a weakness in the Federal Government’s will to deal decisively with the instigators of the insecurity being felt, especially by northerners in their region and elsewhere across the country.
The CNG said the North’s response to the situation was an unwillingness to remain at the receiving end of any attempt to force a transfer of power by shattering its cohesion, or by agitating for the violent breakup of the country.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari has ruled out any possibility of granting amnesty to armed criminals terrorising the country, saying his government will continue to deal decisively with bandits, kidnappers and insurgents.
The President made the declaration yesterday, while declaring open the joint security meeting of Northern State Governors’ Forum, Northern Traditional Rulers Council and the delegation from the Federal Government, in Kaduna. Represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the President said it is time to treat criminals as criminals and stop ethnic profiling.
According to him, the security challenges confronting the nation has slowed down the emancipation of Nigerians from poverty and economic deprivation, hence he has already directed the security chief to develop plans to end criminality in the land.
While reiterating that his government will continue to deal with insurgents, bandits and kidnappers, Buhari said he has already tasked the new Service Chiefs to devise new strategies that will end the ugly security situation where the lives of Nigerians continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.