Over 2000 Kidnapped Victims Released: Northern Governor Gives New Details Why He's Negotiating with Bandits
- With the issue of insecurity spinning out of control, Governor Matawalle decided to settle for negotiation with bandits
- Matawalle believes this option will bring about peace and end the wanton destruction of innocent lives and properties
- According to the governor, those who have embraced peace have been helping the state government in identifying leaders of the recalcitrant bandits
- The Zamfara leader also noted that the Nigerian government did not have enough troops to tackle the issue of banditry
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Bello Matawalle, the governor of Zamfara has given reasons for his decision to negotiate with bandits wreaking havoc in his state.
The governor said he chose to toe that path as a measure to curb the continuous waste of innocent citizens’ lives and property, The Nation reports.
Speaking through the commissioner of information, Hon. Ibrahim Magaji Dosara at a briefing in Kaduna on Friday, April 2, Matawalle gave an update on what had been achieved so far in the dialogue process.
According to him, some of the bandits have laid their weapons and accepted peace. Also, no fewer than 2000 abducted persons have regained freedom.
“As a result of the dialogue and peace process, over 62 bandits accepted and embraced the peace initiative.
“This is in addition to the release of over 2000 kidnapped victims aided and abetted by the repentant bandits."
The governor further disclosed that these repentant bandits were lending a helping hand in convincing those who are yet to embrace peace to do so.
He said they are also helping to identify leaders of the bandits, their camps and location for the purpose of dialogue and reconciliation.
30,000 armed bandits across the north
Daily Trust reports that Matawalle put the number of bandits in Zamfara and five other northern states at about 30,000. The five other states are Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger.
The governor disclosed that there are more than 100 bandits' camps across the states, housing no fewer than 300 members each.
He said between 2011 and 2019, the bandits had collected over N970 million ransoms in Zamfara alone.
Matawalle added that the federal government lacks adequate troops to fight the bandits across the region.
Bandits overrun six villages
Legit.ng reported earlier that bandits killed several people in Zamfara after deadly attacks on six villages.
The attacks were carried out on Friday, March 12. The villages that came under attack included Damaga, Jihiya, Shandame, Gidan Runji Daki Hudu, and Kizara.
Governor Matawalle condemned the attack as he condoled with the families of those who lost their lives.