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Plateau Killings: Repentant bandits return weapons in Wase

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Special Adviser to the Plateau State Governor on Security and Coordinator, Operation Rainbow, Gen. Gakji Shipi (rtd), has said the non-kinetic approach being employed by the security agencies on bringing the crisis in the state to an end, especially in Wase Southern Plateau, has started to yield fruits as some of the bandits have started to turn in their weapons.

Shipi, who said this while addressing journalists in Jos yesterday, said that though the operation is still on, seven AK-47 weapons have already been turned in to operatives of Operation Rainbow by bandits operating in the Wase Local Government Area.

He said that the bandits were afraid to come out for fear of victimisation, but had willingly returned their weapons and renounced violence

According to him, the increasing activities of armed banditry in the state made security agencies to shift their attention to other zones in addition to the areas considered as hotspots.

The Special Adviser said that the feat was made possible with the cooperation from the Wase local government authorities, leaders of the local Vigilance groups, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria ((ALGON) the DSS and the police.

He said, “For quite some time now, we have been taking a look at the security situation bedeviling the state and apart from the kinetic approach, we have decided to adopt the non-kinetic means to solve the problem.

“We have also decided to shift attention to other areas, especially Wase Local Government Area, which had had fair share of armed banditry and the endeavours have started recording success.

“Some of the criminals and bandits have returned their weapons to us and you know we are still negotiating, but for fear of being prosecuted, some of them have surrendered their weapons to us without coming out, but with the confidence measures we are building more will return their weapons as well as surrender to the authorities.

“We have started negations with them and you know these negotiations take time and it also takes time to build trust and for them to show good will have started to return their weapons.”

Shipi, who did not disclose the number of bandits that had so far surrendered said, “So far  seven AK 47 have been returned and if we take it that one belongs to one bandit, that means seven of them has renounced banditry. But as I said we are still negotiating.”

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