Terrorists collect N3 billion as ransom in Zamfara state in eight years, says government
The Zamfara State Government has confirmed that terrorists operating within its vicinity have collected more than N3 billion as ransom from 3,672 victims abducted between 2011 and 2019, a period of eight years.
Penpushing reports that, this was contained in a report by a committee set up by the government in 2019 to review the state of insecurity in the state, the activities of terror gangs which also led to the displacement of 190,340 people within the period.
The committee headed by former Inspector General of Police in the report added that 4,983 women were widowed, and 25,050 children were orphaned within the period, adding that herdsmen lost 2,015 cattle, 141 sheep and goats, and 2,600 donkeys and camels to rustlers while 147,800 vehicles, including motorcycles and others, were burnt or destroyed within the period.
Penpushing further reports that, in a similar development, Governor Bello Matawalle, said that in his effort to reduce insecurity, he dialogued with the terrorists and their parents adding that a majority of the bandits are indigenous Fulani people from Zamfara State.
The Governor in a statement through his media aide, Zailani Baffa, appealed to the Nigeria military to use non-forceful means to solve the conflict in the state, stating that after several meetings with the terrorists and their leaders’ number of agreements were reached.
Penpushing also reports that, the agreements stated that, all vigilante groups (Yan Sa Kai) will be disbanded at the request of the bandits, the Fulanis will be provided with social services as enjoyed by other towns in the state, all Fulani held in the hands of Yan Sa Kai for charges of banditry will be released, the state government in turn requested a stop to abduction and killings by bandits, all captives will be released without ransom and that all bandits will disarm within a short period.
“The above agreements were translated into big a success as the bandits (within nine months) released nearly 3,000 captives without ransom. They also stopped attacks either on highways, towns or villages or the markets and farms. They also surrendered over 1000 Ak47 guns and other assorted weapons, the statement added.
“In the same vein, the state government proscribed the Vigilante Group and started building modern RUGA in each of the three senatorial districts in the state. The RUGA at Maradun was almost completed with everything needed for modern life for the grazing Fulani’.
“It has 200 pro-type houses, a hospital, a veterinary clinic, a water canal, a grazing area, a police post, a primary school, a mini-stadium, worshipping places and many other basic requirements needed for comfortable living’.
Penpushing reports that, Matawalle said that after the federal government cancelled negotiations with terror gangs, he introduced what was known as the “carrot and stick” approach which involved the use of both ‘kinetic and non-kinetic’ approaches to ending banditry in the state.
The Governor explained that in the new approach, bandits who accept to lay down their arms will be re-absorbed into society, and that he empowered the security operatives with brand new Hilux vans equipped with communication gadgets.
Penpushing further reports that, the Governor said he equally provided them with monthly imprest for their maintenance and daily upkeep allowance to these officers on the operation, as well as introducing measures of incapacitating the bandits to give security operatives the upper hand.
The Governor disclosed that, these include a ban on selling food in bulk to avoid transiting the same to bandits in the bush, while his administration banned fuel black markets and sold minimal litres of fuel at approved filling stations, as a way to avoid supply to bandits in the bush.
Penpushing also reports that, Matawalle said he also banned weekly markets to avoid selling ammunition under the cover of the crowd, as well as banning the selling of livestock outside the state to reduce cattle rustling.
‘Cutting off communication with cell phones for about two months to disable informants and allow the security operatives to rout the bandit’s camps. The Government recently introduced measures to allow citizens to apply for and own guns for self-protection’.
‘We introduced and launched the Community protection Guards (CPG) and assisted them with 1,500 motorbikes and 20 Hilux buses and will assist them to apply for and get gun licences to protect their villages,” he said.
FOOTNOTE: You want to share story with us? You want to advertise with us? You need publicity for product, or service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp +2348073463653 or email [email protected]