Niger State Governor, Mohammed Bago said on Tuesday that the Niger State Government has extended grounds of amnesty for bandits to drop their weapons for dialogue to ensure amicable peace.
He however said that the government was battle-ready to crush the insecurity in parts of the state.
The governor, accompanied by some members of the National Assembly, stated these in an interview with journalists in Abuja after a courtesy call on the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who is also from Niger State.
According to the minister, President Bola Tinubu is desirous of changing the face of Nigeria and ensuring that the economic turnaround of the country is achieved within the shortest possible time.
The governor said, “We have extended an olive branch to bandits to drop their arms for amnesty and we are discussing with them to see how we can solve the problem amicably. However, we are battle-ready. We are discussing with them, not negotiating, talking to them to come out, drop their arms, and enter society. It is a clarion call.”
He also shed light on the security challenges in the country but expressed optimism that they would soon be a thing of the past.
Bago said, “The government is working and some of these things are not for public consumption; some of the things that the security agencies are doing are not what we will come out and talk about before the camera.
“What I can tell you is that Mr President is deeply concerned and is working around the clock to ensure that peace returns to Nigeria, and he will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that it happens. The sub-national entities are keying into the programmes and projects of the President.”
Speaking on the agricultural revolution in Niger State, the governor said his administration was poised to ensuring that food security remained a top priority.
“Niger State has 8.6 million hectares of land with 6,000 sq km of arable land and four hydropower dams. We are 10 per cent of the total size of Nigeria, so we are poised and positioned for agriculture in terms of animal husbandry, crop production, aquaculture, and other ways of food security”, the governor stressed.
Earlier, the minister said President Tinubu had given some form of marching orders to the new ministers to ensure that his eight priority areas were felt by Nigerians.
Idris said, “The Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation is actually the custodian of the image of Nigeria and also the custodian of the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President.
What that means is that everything about Renewed Hope should actually begin from this house.
“You are aware that Mr. President has eight priority areas of focus of his administration from security, food security, education, health, job creation, and the turnaround of our economy.
“Only yesterday (Monday), Mr. President had his first meeting with the newly constituted Federal Executive Council and in that meeting, Mr. President gave some forms of marching orders to the new ministers to ensure that his eight priority areas are known and begin to be felt by Nigerians.
“Mr President is desirous of changing the face of Nigeria, he is desirous of ensuring that the economic turnaround of Nigeria is achieved within the shortest possible time. He is also desirous of ensuring that the image of Nigeria is restored.
“This ministry is at the forefront of that. Mr President in the FEC meeting told the ministers that there is no time to waste and that every sector, every department, and every facet of life has a new leaf. By that, he means that everything has to move positively.
“We know that the times are hard. Mr President has acknowledged that he has said that he is aware that Nigerians are experiencing hardship arising from the removal of fuel subsidy and the downturn of the economy.
“You will agree with me that the fuel subsidy that was removed was actually in the best interest of Nigerians.
He (the President) has said repeatedly that Nigerians would feel the pains from the subsidy removal before experiencing the gain.”