Group backs Yerima, urges Tinubu to embrace dialogue

A support group of All Progressives Congress has thrown its weight behind the recommendation of the former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmed Yerima, that President Bola Tinubu should adopt dialogue in dealing with bandits and insurgents.

The appeal was made by the national coordinator of the Progressive League of Youth Voters, Abdul Shuaibu, on Thursday during the investiture of patrons in Abuja.

“Former President Muhammadu Buhari has done his best in the fight against banditry and terrorism. But it has not yielded any positive results.

“This is why I think it is necessary for us to try another option. So we urge President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to please sit down and see if dialogue can be adopted for peace to reign in Nigeria,” Shuaibu said.

Shuaibu’s suggestion is coming three days after Yerima came under fire for advising the Federal Government to grant amnesty to bandits terrorising states in the North-West zone.

reported that Yerima visited the president on Monday in Abuja, during which he urged Tinubu to negotiate with “repentant” bandits and consider granting them amnesty the same way late President Umaru Yar’Adua did for the Niger Delta militants.

The former deputy senate minority leader made the revelation while addressing State House correspondents shortly after his visit to the presidency.

The coordinator of the Progressive League of Youth Voters, however, saw nothing wrong in the proposition.

“We are in support of any motion that will restore peace in the North. There must be a dialogue before combating security issues head-on in Nigeria.

“We must agree to dialogue with these bandits to find what they actually want and why they are terrorising Nigerians. It is only when dialogue fails that we should know the step to take.

“The prevailing state of national security in Nigeria is also worrisome. The receding Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, from what we have seen, is being substituted by banditry and terrorism in the North-West, the North-Central is facing the deadly farmer-herder crisis, the South-East is enmeshed in separatist violence and associated criminal opportunism. There is an upsurge in gang and ritual activities in the South-West while the South-South is afflicted with militancy, piracy and oil theft. The president should get a grip on these serious security threats,” he urged.

The group appealed to the president to urgently tackle the rising cost of living among Nigerians in line with his ‘renewed hope’ manfiesto, saying the recent withdrawal of fuel subsidy was a bold step in the right direction.

The youths also advocated that the appointment of young Nigerians into Tinubu’s cabinet should be considered a priority.

“President Tinubu has left no one in doubt that he has a very good record of grooming and including youths in governance. Therefore, we expect him to continue in that line, most especially, in his subsequent appointment of ministers, heads of departments, agencies, and board members of federal institutions,” he said.

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