Sani Shinkafi, a former Chairman of the Committee on Prosecution of Bandits Related Offences, has recommended that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) cease posting corps members to states plagued by bandit attacks.
This suggestion comes in the wake of an incident where armed bandits abducted eight NYSC members in Zamfara State and demanded a ransom of N4 million for one of the victims.
During an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Shinkafi criticized Governor Dauda Lawal’s refusal to engage in peace talks with repentant bandits. He argued that the approach taken by Lawal’s predecessor, Bello Matawalle, of dialogue with terrorists, was effective in securing the release of abductees in Zamfara.
Shinkafi explained that in previous situations, they would reach out to reformed bandits who would then cooperate with security agencies to either rescue or retrieve captives without paying a ransom.
However, he expressed concern about the current administration’s handling of the situation, citing numerous casualties and abductions, totaling over 2,000 victims, with no safe areas in the 14 local governments of Zamfara.
“I’m calling on the leadership of NYSC to stop posting youth corps members to Sokoto, Kebbi, [and] even Zamfara,” the one-time All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairmanship aspirant said Monday, during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“If this type of situation happens, we used to reach out to these repented bandits and these repented bandits would work with security agencies to either rescue them (victims) or collect them from their captors without paying any ransom,” he said.
“But this administration — I am telling you, many people were killed, many people were kidnapped. More than 2,000 people were killed and kidnapped. No place in the 14 local governments of Zamfara is safe.”
Governor Lawal, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), won the March 18 governorship election, defeating Matawalle, who was running for a second term. Matawalle was subsequently sworn in as the Minister of State for Defence by President Bola Tinubu.”