Nigerian Ministers Deny Allegations of Covert Negotiations with Bandits in Zamfara State
Claims of Covert Negotiations Disputed
Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Badaru Abubakar, and his State counterpart, Bello Matawalle, have vehemently denied allegations that the Federal Government is secretly negotiating with bandits in Zamfara State. The accusations, put forward by the Zamfara state governor, Dauda Lawal, insinuated that the government was engaging in clandestine talks with terrorists to facilitate the release of kidnapped individuals, bypassing state government involvement.
Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, also rejected these claims, calling on the governor to acknowledge the efforts of security agents and the Federal Government in handling the situation.
Joint Security Task Force: The Only Authorized Negotiator
In a public statement by Attari Hope, acting Director of Public Relations for the Ministry of Defence, the ministers reiterated their faith in the joint security task force working tirelessly to rescue the abducted students. They clarified that no individual or group has been authorized to negotiate on behalf of the government, an assignment that falls under the jurisdiction of the military and other security agencies, as directed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Successes of the Security Forces Highlighted
The statement also underlined the success of the security forces in securing the release of 13 students and three other individuals on Monday 25, 2023. The ministers emphasized that such achievements are the result of the professional efforts of the military. The key message from this communication is the denial of covert negotiations with bandits, focusing instead on the role of security forces in rescue operations. The ministers further reassured citizens of the ongoing efforts to secure the release of the remaining abductees.
Federal Government’s Stand on Negotiations
The Federal Government has made it clear that it has not mandated any individual or group to negotiate with bandits on its behalf. This task is solely for the military and other security agencies, as per the orders from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The government’s focus is on the professional efforts of the military and security forces, as demonstrated by their recent successes in rescuing abducted individuals.
Conclusion: No Covert Negotiations
The ministers’ statements underscore a clear message: the allegations of covert negotiations with bandits in Zamfara State are false. The Federal Government is committed to the ongoing efforts of the joint security task force, and it is these professional efforts that have led to the rescue of abductees. The ministers have urged the public to disregard misinformation and to trust in the efforts of the nation’s security agencies.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.