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Former Nigerian ambassador urges government to negotiate with bandits

Former Nigerian ambassador urges government to negotiate with bandits
“At this moment, l cannot say how many students were taken away by the gunmen until l get there, but we have already mobilized security men and members of the vigilantatè who are now in pursuit of the abductors,” the commissioner stated.

A former Nigerian ambassador to the Philippines and Algeria, Orefo Onochie, has told the federal government to consider the option of negotiating with the insurgents, currently terrorising Nigeria, if that would make the bandits to embrace lasting peace.

Onochie who spoke newsmen in Abuja on Sunday said that negotiating with the bandits would prove a wiser option in the long run.

According to him, there is nothing wrong in negotiating with bandits if that can end banditry, insurgency and kidnappings in parts of the country.

The diplomat argued that Nigeria should not continue to be held hostage by terrorists, especially in the north.

He also expressed worry over what he described as the persistent cases of kidnappings and killing of farmers by herdsmen in farming communities in parts of the country.

The PDP stalwart recalled that the federal government during the administration of former President Umaru Yar’Adua had negotiated and rehabilitated Niger Delta militants.

Onochie said that some of the militants were later to become engineers and pilots after undergoing training abroad.

He stressed that the same gesture could be extended to the bandits to ensure lasting peace in Nigeria, noting that: “cost of rehabilitation will certainly be less than the total cost of fighting for 11 years”.

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