It is a short video – precisely about 43 seconds long. The viral video shows bandits freely displaying different sophisticated guns, among other weapons, in the presence of some security personnel.
If the fact that security personnel were present as depicted in the video is not disturbing, then the call made by someone in Nigerian Army uniform should be. The ‘Nigerian soldier’ was heard making a call in which he said: “Hello, Sanusi, please I want… Can you hear me? Follow all the roads and inform people that, for God’s sake, the Fulanis are coming just to pass the road; nobody should say or do anything to them (reconciliation has been done), it (issue at stake) has been discussed and they are coming now. They will only pass. Do you understand? Follow the road (to inform our people) that nobody should say anything; they will just pass by. Please, inform (our people), they will come now; please go and inform people… Yes”.
Multiple sources said the video was recorded during a peace meeting at the sleepy community of Fankama in Faskari local government area of Katsina State. Of course, some officials of the state government feigned ignorance of the ‘peace’ meeting.
This video emerged after the Katsina government had repeatedly said it won’t negotiate with bandits. But why should a state negotiate with these killers? Certainly not a good idea, especially when similar efforts did not yield any result. The immediate past administration of former Governor Aminu Bello Masari negotiated with these marauders but they later reneged on their pledge to lay down arms. Rather, they continued with deadly attacks, kidnapping and raping which led to displacement of many communities, chiefly in worst hit local government areas of Faskari, Sabuwa, Kankara, Danmusa, Safana, Batsari and Jibia.
Why should the government contemplate another negotiation? These are people who know nothing outside violence. And like it is often said, to bend steel, one needs a stronger steel. Negotiating with these criminals amount to treating killers with kid gloves, which in turn serves as an incentive for others to indulge in criminal activities. Government must demonstrate that it has what it takes to flush out terror elements and that, certainly, does not include negotiation.