Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, says being jobless is not a justification to venture into crine, noting that those who are in the business of terrorising the country should not receive a pat on their back.
Bello said this in reaction to plans by some states government who said they would not hesitate to grant amnesty to bandits if that would address the perennial insecurity that ravages their states. Zamfara, which has suffered irreparable damage in the hands of the monstrous bandit, is at the forefront of the widely criticised amnesty programme for the marauders.
Bello who spoke on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme monitored by Ekohotblog, on Friday, said there was a difference in objectives and ideology between south south militant and bandits wreaking havoc in the north.
The controversial gouvernor said “It depends on how you look at it, I will differentiate categorically between the agitation in the down south or south-south and the issue of banditry.
“I don’t subscribe to the fact that because you’re idle then you take to crimes or criminality, there are a lot of jobs to be done, if you can’t do anything, go and farm. Crime is not an excuse for joblessness.
He added that majority of those profiled as criminals are Fulani herdsmen, adding that they are only known for their pastoral endeavours.
He advised that government should assist authentic livestock farmer just like how they bailed out rice farmers, banks and other critical sectors and individuals.
“Majority of those peddled as criminals are Fulani herdsmen, these people are known for rearing cattle; that’s a business. As a result of cattle rustling and the availability of land for grazing again, a number of their cattle have been taken away.
“The government should be able to bail out genuine livestock farmers, the way we bail out rice farmers, cassava farmers, cash crop farmers, airlines, banks, salary earners. Let these poor innocent citizens be able to keep their livestock.”
Bello categorically stated anyone who takes up arms against the state because of joblessness should be dealt with decisively.
“Anybody carrying a rifle or arms against the state are criminals, I will not subscribe to negotiating with such criminals having made provision for each and everybody to improve their lives and livelihood… When criminals put guns against the state, common, let us get them out. We should be able to provide succor for lawful abiding citizens to have gainful employment or self-engagement.”
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