Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has expressed a desire to negotiate with bandits to know their grievances with the state or federal government.
He stated this on Friday in Abakaliki, the state capital, at the presentation of 40 Toyota Sienna vehicles and 20 Hilux vans to security agencies for enhanced operations in the state.
The governor also asked local government chairmen, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and community leaders to meet with bandits leaders.
Umahi said: “I want to talk to the bandits and empower them as we cannot continue to kill ourselves and destroy public infrastructure.
“The bandits are our children and I am pained when they or the security agencies are killed.
“I want to ascertain their grievances against Ebonyi or the federal government, and collate the facts for discussions to commence.”
While slamming INEC for announcing the guidelines for the 2023 election, Umahi said the country was currently battling insecurity.
“Let us forget about the 2023 elections with the leaders taking responsibility for the situation and discussing a way forward,” he said.
“No one takes money to the grave and when we hear a gunshot, we will run and abandon the money we amassed.
“This is not a period to discuss political parties but ensure that the resources of this nation which can truly transform it is judiciously utilised.”