Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria, a pro-democracy and civil rights advocacy group, has slammed Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State for refusing to prosecute bandits arrested in the state.
The group also condemned the governor for choosing to negotiate and dialogue with armed bandits, saying the act is “criminal, immoral and absolutely unconstitutional”.
Armed bandits in Zamfara have been responsible for the killing of about 500 people in the state while also displacing thousands.
The Northern Governors Forum recently announced that it is about tabling a proposal for a regional-wide amnesty programme to be floated for the benefit of armed bandits and kidnappers.
HURIWA in a statement on Sunday said that the move would only strengthen criminal gangs in the region.
The statement read, “Should they proceed with this illegal act, then the blood of the innocent citizens wasted by armed bandits and kidnappers will be on their heads.
“To read that Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara said he will pardon 100 Fulani people imprisoned over banditry is one of the worst cases of abuse of power and abuse of office.
“A society that institutionalises impunity and lawlessness is doomed.
“This is absurd and repugnant to good conscience.”
HURIWA also posited that the policy of dialoguing with armed bandits and criminals, who should face the full weight of the law, is a direct sabotage of the Nigerian constitution.
The group added, “Those elected as governors must either allow the relevant statutory agencies to enforce the laws and rid the society of criminals and criminality.
“We condemn this evil policy of the Northern governors, who through this policy of handshake with blood thirsty criminals, are dancing on the graves of victims of years of armed banditry and kidnapping.”
SaharaReporters, New York