Bandits Recruiting Youths For As Low As N500, Says Radda

The governor lamented that banditry which is rife in the North-West region of Nigeria has become a business venture for some persons including government officials.

The governor of Katsina State Dikko Radda says poverty is one of the major factors fueling banditry in the country, citing instances where young people are recruited into crime for as low as N500.

“The issue of the hypothesis behind political motive as responsible for banditry is not true,” the Katsina State governor said on Friday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“Secondly, what also causes the recruitment of under the logistics services for bandits was a result of poverty because surprisingly with N5,000, N2,000, and N200, you can be able to convince some of these youths to join into this exercise which brings about money,” he insisted.

The governor lamented that banditry which is rife in the North-West region of Nigeria has become a business venture for some persons including government officials.

“Now it has turned out to be a business venture. A business venture for the criminals, some people who are in government; and some people who are in security outfits, and some people who are responsible for the day-to-day activities of their people,” the governor said. “These are so many reasons why we are unable to bring banditry to an end.”

In recent years, criminal gangs known locally as bandits have repeatedly raided places mostly in rural areas in the northern region, abducting many and killing others.

President Bola Tinubu has made reducing insecurity one of his priorities. Some have called for negotiations with the bandits as a way to end the menace.

But the Katsina State governor said his government won’t negotiate from a “point of weakness”.

“When you understand the terrain of the forest, and the different camps that we have within those forests… like in Katsina, we have more than 100 different camps that are being led by somebody. So, they have many leaders, many camps and if you’re negotiating with camps A and B and don’t negotiate with camps C and D, it will not bring any lasting peace,” Governor Radda said.

“Even if you negotiate with the leaders, the other followers of the leaders may not necessarily comply with the directives of their leader. So that is what makes the negotiation with the bandits a very difficult task,” he said.

“What I said is that I would never go into negotiations with any criminal at the point of weakness,” the governor added.

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