Why I changed my mind about negotiating with Bandits —El-Rufai

Wisdom Deji-Folutile

Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Tuesday stated why he reviewed his past position on negotiation with criminals.

El-Rufai has become known for his staunch position against amnesty and ransom payments to bandits in recent years.

However, he was once a proponent of terrorist negotiation, often suggesting it as a means of reinstating normalcy during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure.


In 2014, el-Rufai suggested to Jonathan that he should negotiate the release of Chibok girls after Boko Haram abducted them.

However, the governor has now said that he re-evaluated his past position because mass abductions were no longer a novelty.

According to him, in 2014 the kidnappings were infrequent, which is no longer the case.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, the governor said that all past negotiations have failed to stop the criminals from striking.

“The quantum of money paid as ransom following many negotiations with bandits have not stopped kidnappings, reduced their frequency or deterred the criminals.

“It has only encouraged them. It is only prudent to review one’s position when the facts change, and the suggestion made by a citizen years ago cannot be taken as the immutable answer to a serious problem that has evolved since 2014, no matter the viral replays of the said video clip,” he said.

According to the governor, negotiation with bandits only encourages them to continue their terrorism.

“The fact that criminals seek to hold us by the jugular does not mean we should surrender and create an incentive for more crime,” he said.