from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THERE is scepticism over a peace deal the Nigerian government has reportedly reached with over 500 bandits northwest of the country.
If true, the deal reached with militants in the Kaduna State would be the latest the administration of President Muhammadu Buahri has reached with extremist groups since 2019.
It is believed Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric in the state, brokered the deal, aimed at curbing the banditry that has led to loss of lives and destruction of property in the northwest.
The federal government and the police backs Gumi, according to sources.
Nextier SPD (Security, Peace and Development) stated, “This development is more problematic than surprising.”
The think-tank argued past peace deals with bandits have been unsustainable.
“Banditry in the northwest has defied the numerous peace deals that have been initiated to stem the violence.”
The Niger Delta amnesty for ex-militants is still a headache for Nigeria, according to Nextier SPD.
In addition, the different peace deals initiated in some northwest states in 2019 might have temporarily curbed attacks then.
“…but they were unclear and undoubtedly unsustainable,” Nextier SPD added.
The organisation said government must ensure the terms of peace are realistic and sustainable.
“The failed and choking peace deals in the past should guide the government to seek a more robust and sustainable approach to peace.”
Banditry is among violent crimes Nigeria is experiencing.
The worst is the terror by Islamist sect, Boko Haram.
Government has previously reached deals with the terror group, which has led to kidnapped civilians released, reportedly in exchange for jailed terrorists.
– CAJ News