The Zamfara State government has stated that it has facts and evidence to back its claim that the federal government is engaged in secret negotiations with bandits in the region.
Governor Dauda Lawal raised an alarm earlier, alleging that the federal government has begun a secret dialogue with the insurgents.
Responding to the allegation, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, accused the Zamfara Government of politicising security.
Speaking in a statement via his spokesman, Sulaiman Bala Idris, Governor Lawal said he has proof that lends credence to his allegation.
According to him, a thorough investigation ought to have been conducted by the minister before discrediting his administration.
“We sought clarification from the Federal Government regarding the sneaky negotiations with bandits carried out by some of its agents without recourse to the State Government and heads of Security agencies in the State.
“We have facts and evidence on what had transpired between these agents of the Federal Government and the bandits during the negotiations in several places across Zamfara.
“It is disappointing that the information minister discredited our claim without verifying it first. What is expected of him as a professional is to collaborate with relevant authorities to substantiate the claim’s authenticity.
“Zamfara State Government respects protocol and established authority. We would not come out in the media to start exposing the names of the Federal Government agents involved in the covert dialogue with bandits.
“We want to clarify that those individuals leading secret negotiations with bandits in Zamfara are politicising insecurity, not the State Government.
“The Information Minister’s statement claiming that there were no negotiations between government officials and bandits in Zamfara requires further clarification. We have already exposed a few locations where such talks were held with bandits, such as Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Mun Haye, Ajah, Bawo, and Bagege.
“Negotiating with bandits in Zamfara is a grave mistake we cannot afford to make. It is not the solution to the problem and only encourages and emboldens the criminals.
“We urge the Federal Government to take a firm stance against such activities and investigate the motives of those who engage in them”, the statement reads.