Sen. Sa’idu Dansadau, a three-term former Senator from Zamfara, says dialogue and justice are critical in ending current wave of banditry in some rural communities in the country.
Dansadau made the observation in Zaria an interview with our reporter on the sideline of a seminar on Economic Impact of Rural Banditry, organised by Centre for Democratic Development and Training.
The centre was established by a group of intellectuals under late Dr Yusufu Bala-Usman of Ahmadu Bello University.
Dansadau stressed that it was important for government to be responsible, fair and just to all, so as to engender positive response from the citizenry.
“When leaders exhibit high sense of responsibility and lead people with fear of God, then, we should expect peace to reign.
“Tackling insecurity is not an issue of deploying soldiers to affected areas, but it is a matter of leaders to do justice and use public fund judiciously for the benefit of the society.
“When leaders refuse to be just, fail to discharge their legitimate responsibilities and focus only on siphoning public fund, then, insecurity will invade the society,” the Senator said.
He added that dialogue must be used to bandits to the round table, so as to prevail on them to end their nefarious activities.
“We have tried dialogue method in our area, Dansadau, and it yielded positive result and I believe if this can be applied in other places, we will certainly get good results,” the former lawmaker said.
On general the political situation in the country, Dansadau believed that no matter the level of disagreement, insecurity and economic predicament, “Nigeria would be fixed.”
“Anybody who feels or believes that Nigeria cannot be fixed is blasphemy. We actually believe that with efforts and prayers the country will be fixed.”
He appreciated the foresight of the organisers of the seminar and urged them to sustain the tempo for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Dansadau attributed the level of insecurity being experienced to influx of foreigners especially from Chard Republic who came to stay in Nigeria.
“These people came in and settled down, they built houses, started farming and all other things that a bonafide citizen is entitled to do.
“When these group of people settle down, they started perpetrating their evil, capturing areas, stealing cows, raping women and all other sort of atrocities, that was the beginning of this problem,” he said.
According to him, another contributing factor to banditry was the gradual depletion of cattle stock of indigenous Fulani, leaving them with nothing.
Dansadau noted that the situation pushed some of the Fulani people into stealing, armed robbery and other crimes to earn a living, “because they knew no other business than cattle rearing.”