Former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme ( NHIS), Usman Yusuf said he has found out from several meetings bandits had with religious leaders that they are tired and want genuine peace.
Yusuf who spoke during an interview on Arise TV noted that the bandits are willing to listen to religious leaders.
“This is what we find out, in all the five states we went in, they listen to clerics. In Niger state, they gathered in force to a meeting of war commanders, from six states, in the forest,” he said.
“Nobody has drawn that kind of crowd, they listen to the Sheikhs. They are tired and want genuine peace. We go there through clerics. They listen to clerics; All clerics of all faiths.”
He acknowledged the efforts of military in the fight against banditry but noted that it still won’t resolve the security challenges. Yusuf stressed that banditry is a social issue and not a military one.
“There’s a role for the military in all of these. Without the military, the north-west would have been overrun by Boko Haram, the north-central will be overrun by these bandits, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will overrun the south-east, there will be warlords all-over south-west,” he said.
“There’s a role for the military but if anybody tells you there’s a military solution to this conflict, he’s either dishonest or he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. There’s no military solution to this problem.
“Banditry is a social problem and not a military one. We are increasingly militarising what is essentially a social problem. We are dropping a million-dollar bomb on people we should be providing water for.”