Eminent cleric John Cardinal Onaiyekan on Saturday condemned dialogue with bandits and demanded that those in government should leave the stage if they can no longer secure the citizens' lives.

Some state governors and famous cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, have advocated for negotiations with bandits, who have captured the nation's imagination with a spate of kidnappings and violent crimes.

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan

But speaking in Minna, the Niger State capital, Onaiyekan said that is not the right thing.

"We should not be living in a country where you are always with your heart in your mouth when you are moving from one place to the other," he said in an interview with ChannelsTV.

"We should not be living in a country where children cannot study in peace in their schools and where bandits – whatever you call them – from nowhere come and cart away 30, 40 children and their teachers into the bush. And then sit there somewhere and boast, calling for dialogue. And even government agencies are talking about reaching out.

"That's not the right thing to do. It is about time that we have a government that takes care of the people. This is not political. It has nothing to do with PDP, APC. And we have now seen, it has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity, not even with our tribal differences.

"We have a large gang of criminals that have almost taken over our country. The government should either fix it or allow others to do it."

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