Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle , on Wednesday , said repentant bandits were instrumental in the release of the about 300 Jangebe schoolgirls abducted by bandits in the state last week .
According to him, repentant bandits held talks with their unrepentant counterparts and were able to secure the release of the schoolgirls .
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The governor also said the repentant bandits handed over the abductees to security agents during the rescue efforts .
He spoke on Wednesday while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘ Politics Today ’ programme monitored by The PUNCH.
When asked to narrate how the schoolgirls were released , Matawalle said, “ Zamfara has a very vast area and we have borders with different states like Niger , Kebbi , Kaduna, Sokoto, and Katsina . When it ( the abduction) happened , I spoke with the security agents and they went together with the repentant bandits to the place where these guys ( abductors ) promised to bring the children .
“ We provide vehicle with all the security – the Army , the Police , the Air Force, and everyone to go along with those guys ( repentant bandits ) and they ( security agents ) remained in one of the areas called Bingi. So, the repentant ones brought them to the security agents to convey them from there to the state capital.”
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The governor stressed that his Peace Accord with bandits was working , adding that those who rejected the Peace Accord were behind the abduction of the schoolgirls .
Matawalle also said without the Peace Accord , the safe rescue of the schoolgirls would have been impossible .
“ No matter how people may see the peace , dialogue and reconciliation efforts as unnecessary , to me it is very important , ” he noted.