A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Ntufam Mba Ukweni, has accused the Federal Government and the Zamfara State Government of encouraging crimes and criminalities by granting amnesty to bandits and Fulani herdsmen, who are allegedly involved in killing and destroying property, including farmlands and its products in the country.
Ukweni lamented the Nigeria and Zamfara State Governments’ action over the purported granting of amnesty to bandits.
He noted that it would increase violent crimes and criminal activities across the country.
Ukweni said, “Granting of amnesty to Fulani herdsmen and bandits is like encouraging them to do more. These bandits and Fulani herdsmen are doing in some communities and states involved in the alleged killing and destruction of property, including farm inputs as reported, are criminal acts.
“It’s wrong for the government to start granting amnesty to people who have committed an offense. Granting amnesty will encourage other people in other places into criminality. When they paid those militants, their salaries were more significant than professors’ wages in the Universities; hence, others are now demanding the same.
“Now, the kidnappers and herdsmen saw it as a profitable business that they can quickly be rewarded. It is not good enough. The provision of the law must punish anybody who commits a crime.
“These people have made up their mind that at the end of the day, the government will call and pay them heavily and make them more comfortable than law-abiding citizens, and those who are law-abiding will now say it is better to do a bad thing and that is the one government quickly rewarded.
“And again, it shows clearly incapacity by the government to protect the people and checkmate people with criminal tendencies; it means the government is incapable of keeping to its oaths of ensuring that law and order are maintained in the society.
“One of the main duties of the government is to protect lives and property, but since they could not do this, they now tolerate criminals and beg them not to commit crimes. By this, it tells those going to school that it is a waste of time to go to school.”
On the way forward, Ukweni added, “There are already laws in place to checkmate those things. It’s only the will of the government to implement these laws. If people have been crying and even the National Assembly, then this government is not doing anything, no strong statement, it is a big problem in our society.”