By John Akevi
According to Wikipedia, amnesty is a pardon granted by the government to
a group or class of persons officially forgiving them of their acts of
Section 14, Subsection 1(b)) Chapter 11 of the 1999 Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) under the Fundamental
Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy provides that; ” the
security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of
Government ” . Every person has a right to life and shall not be
deprived of it intentionally, except in execution of the sentence of a
court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty
This weighty provision of the law has placed a huge demand on government
at the Federal, State
and Local tiers to prioritise the security of lives and property of her
In the North Eastern state of Bauchi, the administration of His
Excellency, Sen. Bala Mohammed debuted the scene of governance with a
loud drive for comprehensive industrialization of Bauchi, drifting
attention from the oil- targeted monoculture economy. Knowing
well the dangers of poor security as touching industrial activities, the
governor immediately took steps that would guarantee foreign investors’
confidence and encourage local investments.
Bauchi state has over the years been faced with a dearth of small and
medium scale industries, making the Pearl of Tourism state entirely
reliant, with an alarming poverty rate.
Towards winning the confidence of would-be investors, His Excellency,
Sen. Bala Mohammed initiated an amnesty programme for ‘YAN-SARASUKA”
thugs that have been perpetrating evil and terrorising residence in the
state since 2007 to date. This was done with leniency, a way of
reintegrating the lost sheep in the Bauchi community through a peaceful
and harmless “carrot approach”.
Three states in the North East region where thuggery was elevated, as
some would say, to become almost like an institutional apparatus of
state as they assumed and exhibited powers
that were hitherto only associated with security outfits, were Bauchi,
Gombe and Borono States. While ‘YAN SARA-SUKA’ ran Bauchi state
berserk with the support and encouragement of the then governors, in
Gombe State, the ‘YANKALARI’ group, made sure that their fear was the
beginning of wisdom as they became law onto themselves. Likewise in
Borono state ‘ECOMOG’ have in the past wrecked havoc on the residence of
Needless to say that the havoc that has been wrecked into the system has
today led to the tense security situation in the North Eastern part of
the country in particular and the nation at large.
Today, Boko Haram insurgence, kidnapping, armed robbery and banditry,
broad daylight cult killings involving youths are steadily enveloping
The decision of the state government to grant amnesty to the ‘YAN
SARA-SUKA’ thugs in the state was received with unimaginable responses
as over 500 members of the evil gang across the state surrendered large
number of arms and ammunition and other dangerous weapons to the
government and denounced the act of criminality.
While addressing the ‘YAN SARA-SUKA’ thugs,
Governor Bala Mohammed, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr.
Abubakar Kari, said “the government will use the information provided by
the police in integrating them to the society”.
The Governor further started that “the state will come up with
empowerment programmes aimed at assisting them in capacity building to
better their lives”.
He stressed the need for job creation as a fundamental tool to reduce
unemployment which made youths to take to criminality. He said the State
Government has promised to rehabilitate the
repentant YAN SARA-SUKA thugs.
Sen. Bala Mohammed administration like the precedence in Benue, Taraba,
the Niger Delta and other states through granting of amnesty and
eventual empowerment of militia and militants has indeed set the tone
for the Northern governors to emulate and resolve to uplift their
states. The scary poverty situation and security challenges of the time
suggest that all hands must be on deck to tame this evil. The Bauchi
state Governor must thus be lauded.
I rest my pen for now!
John Akevi write via email@example.com