Repentant bandits handed over abducted schoolgirls to security agents –Matawalle

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Kayode Oyero

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, on Wednesday, said repentant bandits were instrumental in the release of the about 300 Jangebe schoolgirls abducted by bandits in the state last week.

According to him, repentant bandits held talks with their unrepentant counterparts and were able to secure the release of the schoolgirls.

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The governor also said the repentant bandits handed over the abductees to security agents during the rescue efforts.

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He spoke on Wednesday while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme monitored by The PUNCH.

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When asked to narrate how the schoolgirls were released, Matawalle said, “Zamfara has a very vast area and we have borders with different states like Niger, Kebbi, Kaduna, Sokoto, and Katsina. When it (the abduction) happened, I spoke with the security agents and they went together with the repentant bandits to the place where these guys (abductors) promised to bring the children.

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“We provide vehicle with all the security –the Army, the Police, the Air Force, and everyone to go along with those guys (repentant bandits) and they (security agents) remained in one of the areas called Bingi. So, the repentant ones brought them to the security agents to convey them from there to the state capital.”

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The governor stressed that his Peace Accord with bandits was working, adding that those who rejected the Peace Accord were behind the abduction of the schoolgirls.

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Matawalle also said without the Peace Accord, the safe rescue of the schoolgirls would have been impossible. “No matter how people may see the peace, dialogue and reconciliation efforts as unnecessary, to me it is very important,” he noted.

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