- Amid the rising banditry in the northern Nigerian, pictures of some governors with bandits have raised dust
- Musa Kamarawa, an associate of a notorious bandits leader, Bello Turji, was seen in pictures with Governors Matawalle and Tambuwal
- The two governors, however, denied any relationship with the bandits even as stakeholders demand investigations
Northwest Nigeria - Concerned stakeholders have demanded an investigation of the relationship between some northern governors and notorious banditry kingpin, Bello Turji, after pictures of them and an associate of the bandit, Musa Kamarawa, emerged on social media.
Legit.ng notes that Zamfara and Sokoto are two of the northwestern states under attacks by bandits in which hundreds of people have been killed and thousands displaced.
Kamarawa arrested in Abuja
Kamarawa, the bandit in pictures with the state governors, was arrested in Abuja in September 2021 alongside one Bashar Audu, a Nigerien who was caught with a consignment of Indian hemp he was allegedly taking to Turji and his men, Daily Nigerian reported.
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He was said to have confessed to the police that he had known Turji for long.
Kamarawa added that Turji has over 100 armed guards around him and named those supplying the notorious bandits with shoes, military camouflage uniforms, drugs and other materials.
Kamarawa related to former Sokoto governor
Meanwhile, Premium Times stated that Kamarawa is a nephew of a former governor of Sokoto state, Attahiru Bafarawa.
The bandit’s mother is the elder sister of the former governor.
Bafarawa has been vocal in lambasting bandits and had urged the federal government to renew its strategy in the fight against insecurity.
Governor Matawalle and Kamarawa
It was gathered that Kamarawa, who is from Isa local government area of Sokoto state, was among those that were first contacted by Governor Matawalle after he was declared governor in 2019, to facilitate a peace accord with bandits.
An anonymous source was cited as saying that Kamarawa was referred to the Zamfara state governor when the peace accord was being initiated.
The source who is reportedly an aide to Matawalle said the Zamafara state government did not know that Kamarawa had an interest in the bandits and was working for them.
However, he could not confirm whether a letter circulating on social media, notifying Kamarawa of his appointment as Special Assistant to the governor, is real or fake.
It was gathered that it was Kamarawa who received Turji’s father from security agents and handed him to the bandit in July when the latter abducted 50 residents in retaliation for his father’s arrest by the police.
Concerned stakeholders react
A senior lecturer at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto who is from Shinkafi in Zamfara, Tijjani Salihu, said the pictures show that Kamarawa is not a “normal criminal.”
Salihu called on security agencies to interrogate him further and bring to book anyone associated with him in his business, no matter how highly placed they are.
Also reacting, a popular Islamic scholar in Sokoto state said he was surprised that someone like Kamarawa is now being investigated.
He said there are many influential people supporting bandits who at the same time are enjoying government support.
Governors deny relationship with Kamarawa
Speaking on the photos, Governor Matawalle’s spokesperson, Zailani Bappa, said they were taken during the peace accord with bandits.
He said even another notorious banditry kingpin, Auwalun Daudawa, was part of the peace accord and his pictures were taken.
Bappa reiterated that the photos did not indicate that Governor Matawalle has anything to do with Kamarawa or any bandit collaborator.
On his part, Muhammadu Bello, Governor Tambuwal’s media aide, said there is no relationship between his principal and Kamarawa.
Nigerians react on social media
Nuhu Muhammad Sani commented on Facebook:
"Our northern politicians are just playing their political games with our lives. They are the ones who have the responsibility of securing the North but they are not interested in doing so, that's why the terrorist bandits are running their business with impunity. NORTHERN POLITICIANS ARE TO BLAME ON INSECURITY IN THE NORTH ."
Okafor Johnkingsley said:
"For those who have not paid their taxes and levies to d bandits better do so before is too late."
Mabrig Korie said:
"You cannot separate banditry and politics in Northern Nigeria The bandits are the political tools being used to upturn political outcomes.
"Their full mission will be unveiled during 2023 election. When you realize that the bandits are working for the politicians then you will reasons why Northerner shouldn't be the next president."
Yahaya Usman said:
"They're all business men! Remember Gumi's statement sometime ago! God is watching them!!!"
Ekotts All Hanson said:
"I pray for President Buhari, to complete his tenure and retired to his home and rest, the problem of Nigeria is from Nigerians it's will be very hard to get a better Nigeria if Nigeria's citizens didn't change their ways
"Buhari you have tried in the area of the security sector, and is pretty we lost a lot of our security men because of this course, It's Nigerian themselves that are the cause of their problem."
Zamfara killings: President Buhari talks tough, vows to smoke out bandits
Recall that there was tension in some communities in Zamfara as hundreds of residents scampered for safety following an attack on five communities in Anka and Bukkuyum LGAs of the state.
The president described the action of the bandits as an “act of desperation by mass murderers.” In a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, Buhari said his administration will “smoke out” the bandits, adding that the army and the airforce are working together to track and eliminate the perpetrators.