The Sokoto State Police Command says it has recovered 102 guns from repentant bandits as a result of the ongoing peace dialogue initiated by the state government.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ibrahim Kaoje, made this known when he presented the recovered weapons to Gov. Aminu Tambuwal in Sokoto on Thursday.
Kaoje said the weapons comprised 23 AK47, 7GPMG, 2M4 Magazines and 50 locally made rifles, among others.
He commended the state government’s initiative, which is being coordinated by the Office of the state Commissioner for Security and Special Duties, Retired Col. Garba Moyi, noting that it was a remarkable and unprecedented achievement.
“We will continue to strengthen our operations and extend cooperation to the state government laudable security initiative in order to rid the state of all kinds of crimes,” he said.
He also solicited the cooperation of members of the public to achieve more successes.
Tambuwal called on states affected by the bandits’ activities to embrace dialogue so as to serve as a tool to fight the trend and enjoy a lasting peace.
“We have to arrive at a common stand to actualise a responsive approach that would bring peace, especially in the North-west axis which is more affected,” Tambuwal said.
He described the feat as a remarkable milestone which would not have been successful without the cooperation, support and understanding of all security agencies in the state.
“We will continue to embrace the concept to ensure security of lives and property in Sokoto State, which we hope, other states would embrace the Sokoto model,”
According to him, the initiative needs a viable working relationship through teamwork at the state and national levels for the safety of the citizenry.
“Nothing can be achieved as a state or nation without security, peace and stability,” he added.
Tambuwal, however, stressed the need to further evolve a strategic concept for a responsive framework that would provide jobs for bandits who surrendered themselves and regretted their nefarious activities.
“They should be rehabilitated and supported by a robust welfare package that would engage them in legitimate means of earning a living so that they can be useful to themselves and the society”, he said.
Mr Abubakar Mustapha, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG-P) in charge of Zone 10, lauded the commitment of the state government toward ensuring peace and stability in the state.
Mustapha urged all and sundry in the zone, which comprised Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, to collectively and individually play proactive roles to encourage synergy by giving information and intelligence as well supporting the police and relevant security agencies.
He said the momentum of security had considerably increased positively.
“With this milestone, we need to have a data base of the repentant bandits who surrendered their arms for appropriate monitoring of their movements and activities,” he urged.
Military officials, members of Department of State Security Service (DSS) and Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) personnel witnessed the hand over.