CONTROVERSY, ANGUISH AS ZAMFARA OFFERS ABDUCTOR OF KANKARA SCHOOLBOYS FREE EDUCATION

Zamfara govt gifts Kankara schoolboys’ abductor free education

As part of the amnesty-for-bandits initiative of the Zamfara State government, the brains behind the abduction of over 300 schoolboys in Kankara, Katsina State last December, Awwalun Daudawa, will get the support of the state government to return to school.

The Special Adviser to the state Governor on Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, told Sunday PUNCH that Daudawa and his gang had recently embraced the peace dialogue of the state government.

Bappa disclosed this to Sunday PUNCH while advocating amnesty for repentant bandits.

He said, “They (repentant bandits) are living with us in the towns. As a matter of fact, you know the leader of the gang that kidnapped the Kankara schoolboys, Awwalun Daudawa, came and submitted himself to the Zamfara State government.

“All his boys also surrendered themselves and their weapons. He is with us and said he wants to go back to school. The state government will assist him in his education. This is what amnesty for repentant bandits can achieve.”

Daudawa, reportedly on the orders of the Boko Haram terrorist sect, led the abduction of over 300 schoolboys from their school on the outskirts of Kankara, Katsina State on December 11, 2020.

The pupils were released six days later from where they were being held in a forest in neighbouring Zamfara State.

Earlier this month, Daudawa reportedly surrendered to the authorities in exchange for an amnesty agreement.

Zamfara State government said Daudawa and six other bandits handed over their weapons, swearing on the Holy Quran not to return to their former practices.

APC faults Matawalle’s amnesty

Following the rampant cases of banditry in Zamfara State despite the amnesty initiative of the state government, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress has faulted the peace accord by Governor Bello Matawalle.

In a statement, the state APC Caretaker Committee chairman, Lawal Imam, advised Matawalle to stop paying lip service to the security situation in the state, advising him to seek help in the fight against banditry.

Imam said, “It is no longer news that despite the peace accord of the Peoples Democratic Party-led government in Zamfara State, these bandits have continued launching fatal attacks and kidnapping for ransom.

“They have been engaged in maiming, raping, arson and other atrocities against the peace-loving populace of the state and the situation is on the increase in almost every part of our dear state.

“It is pertinent for us at this critical time to draw the attention of the PDP-led Zamfara State government to the fact that the issue of the security of lives and property of the citizenry is beyond politics and rhetorics so it should be treated as such.

“We, therefore, implore the Zamfara State government to, as a matter of responsibility, reorganise its security architecture, review its security resolutions to properly secure the state and salvage it from the hands of the bandits as the people of the state are no longer interested in your lip service and untimely politicking of buying unpopular politicians with state resources instead of concentrating on securing the state.”

Reconsider your stand on repentant bandits, NHRC tells Zamfara

Similarly, the National Human Rights Commission on Saturday called on the Zamfara State government to reconsider its stance on repentant bandits to avoid the elevation of criminality to a level where bandits would be dictating the conditions for negotiations with the government.

The NHRC Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, said this in a statement signed by the commission’s Deputy Director (Public Affairs), Fatimah Mohammed, in Abuja.

Ojukwu said, “The commission is using this opportunity to call on the Zamfara State government to reconsider its concept of repentant bandits so that the state government does not elevate criminality to a level where bandits will be dictating conditions for negotiations with the government.

“We reiterate the need for all the stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the Child Rights Act 2003, particularly the rights to free and compulsory education at least up to the Senior Secondary School level. This cannot be realised where the school environment is not safe and secure for continuous learning.”

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