A northern group, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has urged government at all tiers to consider and adopt negotiations with bandits, kidnappers and other terrorists as part of measures to bring to barest minimum issues bordering on insecurity across the country.
If adopted, the group argued, the strategy would save the country from many of its challenges, particularly in the area of insecurity and kidnapping of students across citadel of learning in Nigeria, a situation it said, had been given the country a bad image.
ACF National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, said that it was important that stakeholders across the government levels roll up their sleeves and adopt a coherent policy and approach in tackling issues of insecurity in guaranteeing maximum protection of lives and property.
Through a statement, the apex northern socio-cultural body also faulted the payment of ransoms to secure abductees and others in captivity, saying the approach would not help the country in its ongoing anti-terrorism fight.
Yawe, however, thanked Nigerians who risked their lives in the delicate negotiating process to free those held hostages by bandits, especially the Greenfield University students.
“We thank God for saving their lives and rejoice with their families both immediate and extended.
“Our only regret is that millions of Naira were alleged to have been paid to the bandits before they granted freedom to the kidnapped students,” the statement said.
The ACF publicity secretary explained that the body was against the payment of such ransom, “even though we agree with negotiating with bandits.”
Yawe, however, appealed to the bandits holding other innocent people to set them free without further delay.
“Whatever may be the grievances of the kidnappers against society, spilling innocent blood will not be a solution” the statement added.