Governor Bello Matawalle
Governor Bello Matawalle

I didn’t mean to say ‘not all bandits are criminals’ – Matawalle

NEWS DIGEST – Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has explained that he didn’t mean to say that not all bandits who terrorise parts of the state and other neighbouring states are criminals.

THE NEWS DIGEST had quoted the governor as saying that not all bandits are criminals after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

But, the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, said Mr Matawalle didn’t mean to say that not all bandits are criminals.

According to him, what the governor wanted to say was that not all Fulani people are bandits or criminals.

Mr Bappa said: “He [Matawalle] tried to make clear his known and popular view that not all FULANIS are CRIMINALS.

“He went on to explain the injustices meted on them such as rustling their cattle as reasons that pushed them to criminality.

“If indeed he mentioned the word BANDITS instead of FULANI, then it was an inadvertent mistake as common sense dictates that banditry cannot at any time be justified as a non-criminality.”

The governor’s media aide, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians to disregard the message, saying that, “that is not at all what His Excellency meant to say nor the kind of message he wanted to portray”.