State governors yesterday backpedaled on its initial stand against dialoguing with bandits, saying they may engage the criminals as a last resort to end security challenges in the country.
The chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who made the disclosure, stated that there is need to explore other avenues side by side with what security agencies are doing, including the option of dialogue.
Fayemi spoke yesterday in Minna, the Niger State capital, when he led some governors, on behalf of the forum, to commiserate with their Niger State counterpart, Abubakar Sani-Bello, on the recent abduction of students of Government Science College Kagara and passengers of the state transport service.The NGF chairman said, “We also need to explore other avenues side by side together with what security institutions are doing, if that means engaging in dialogue, we may not have a choice, we may have to do that; anything to help us to deal with this immediate crisis.
“We will begin to address much more on a longer time basis, the root causes of this social dislocation responsible for what we are witnessing all around us.
“The past few weeks have been disconcerting, we all feel your pain and the anxiety of the good people of Niger State, this is not something that is uncommon, what happens here is not unique to you.”
He, however, said the NGF delegation was not in Minna “on the circle of lamentation” but to feel what the people of the state were feeling.
“Our people just want us to find a permanent solution to this circle of violence, banditry, insurgency, of criminality and brigandage in our country,” he declared.