The National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (Retd) and all the seven governors from the North-West region of the country have scheduled a town-hall meeting for Monday in order to address growing insecurity in the region.
It was gathered that the meeting, which will hold in Kaduna, was convened on the heels of recent disagreements among some of the governors which border on whether to give amnesty to bandits or not.
Newsmen report that Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai said that his administration was at war with bandits and so cannot negotiate with them.
The governor, in an interview with BBC Hausa radio as monitored on Monday, also ruled out the issue of forgiveness and compensation for bandits being advocated by the state based Islamic Scholar, Dr Ahmad Gumi.
But Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje while speaking on Radio France International said, El-Rufai was either misunderstood or ill-informed on the insecurity affecting the north for saying using force with the bandits is the only solution.
A statement made available to journalists on Saturday by the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA), noted that the first town-hall meeting is expected to provide direct assessment of the security situation, generate local feedback and recommendations, encourage geo-political synchronisation of effort among States and to also create a pathway to lasting peace and security.
Other geo-political zones
It also disclosed that the similar meeting, which will hold subsequently in other geo-political zones with the attendance of all service chiefs, will have heads of federal law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies in the zones, Traditional and Religious Leaders, members of the Legislature, Non-Governmental, Youth and Women Organisations.
The statement read, “As part of renewed commitment to make Nigeria safe and secure, the meeting resolved to strengthen interagency coordination, stakeholders’ engagement and consultation in order to find lasting solution to the multiple security threats.
“Working with the Service Chiefs and Heads of Security and Intelligence Agencies, the National Security Adviser is coordinating a Whole-of-Government and Whole-of Society approach that cuts across the Legislature, Judiciary, Ministries and Departments, States and Local Governments and the Civil Society to ensure that every stakeholder plays a role in securing our towns and villages.
“The NSA believes that addressing these threats call for the deployment of all national assets, including the cooperation of all Nigerians.”
The ONSA said Federal Government is deeply concerned about the current spate of criminal activities, and it is taking major steps to strengthen the capacity of security agencies, while upgrading the security architecture, and implementing a multi-pronged strategy that involves political, humanitarian, economic and security measures.
It added that FG is equally committed to working with the States and community leaders to strengthen peace, security and development in all parts of the country.