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Nigeria: Bandit Leader Calls for Peace Following Military Onslaught in Zamfara

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GUSAU, Nigeria – In a recent development in Zamfara State, a known bandit leader, Gabar Haliyu, has issued a call for peaceful negotiations following a series of successful military operations against their camps.

This appeal comes in the wake of the Nigerian government’s firm stance against ransom payments, a policy reinforced by National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu.

Gabar Haliyu, addressing his followers in a video, emphasised the need for peaceful coexistence in Zamfara and the cessation of conflicts which he believes hinder peace and development.

“I need to send a message to Dr. Dauda Lawal Dare. As of today, we need to co-exist peacefully in Zamfara State. The continuous conflict will not give us the desire for peace for development,” Haliyu stated in the video obtained by PRNigeria.

The terrorist leader further highlighted the losses inflicted by the military’s recent actions, including the destruction of their property and livestock, prompting his plea for negotiation.

“The military attacked, and our cattle were taken away after the destruction of our houses. This is not a good thing,” he explained.

Haliyu also sought to dissociate his group from criminal activities, asserting their identity as nomadic Fulanis who desire peace and urged the government to consider their grievances.

Parallel to Haliyu’s appeals, respected Fulani community and religious leaders, known as Ardos, have been actively working towards peace.

These leaders have facilitated the release of abducted students and other captives, emphasizing non-violent resolutions to the conflicts.

An intelligence source shared with PRNigeria that the interventions by Ardos have played a crucial role in these achievements, notably without the exchange of ransoms.

In addition, Nuhu Ribadu provided insights into the broader security improvements under the current administration while speaking at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto.

“Since assuming office, we have successfully freed over a thousand individuals, many of whom were villagers held captive for as long as two to three years,” Ribadu remarked.

He highlighted the significant strides made in securing previously dangerous routes and the release of individuals from kidnappings across the country, all achieved without financial transactions.

“These results were achieved without paying any ransom. Our approach utilizes evidence as the foundation of our non-kinetic strategies,” he added.

This pivot towards non-kinetic strategies and the call for negotiations by bandit leaders like Haliyu suggest a potential shift in the handling of security issues in Northern Nigeria, aiming for a balance between military action and dialogue.

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