*Since the killing of Fulani leader in 2013, Fulani launched aggression against Housa
*In 8 yrs Bandits have collected N970m as ransom, killed 2,619, displaced 100,000, kidnapped 1,190, rustled 14,378 animals
*Now there are 100 camps with no fewer than 300 bandits in each camp with sophisticated weapons\
By Ibrahim Hassan Wuyo
Records from Zamfara state show that more than 100,000 people were displaced from their ancestral homes while 2,619 people were killed by bandits between 2011 and 2019 in the state,
the commissioner of information in Zamfara state, Hon Ibrahim Magaji Dosara has said.
“This is in addition to the One Thousand One hundred and Ninety people kidnapped by the bandits,” he added.
Speaking at a press conference in Kaduna on Friday, Dosara said
the records also showed that the sum of 970,000,000 Million Naira was paid as ransom while Fourteen Thousand Three Hundred and Seventy Eight animals were rustled within the period.
He however explained that with the coming of Governor Bello Matawalle Maradun, drastic measures were put in place to control the situation, saying that the peace and reconciliation process undertaken by the government has yielded positive result.
According to him, “ the Government of His Excellency Hon. Bello Mohammed,MON Matawallen Maradun clocks 2-years in office as the Executive Governor of Zamfara State, come 29th May, 2021. I am pleased to inform you that since the day His Excellency took over the mantle of leadership of Zamfara state, Governor Matawalle has been up and doing to move Zamfara and its people forward.”
“The greatest challenge being faced by the administration of Governor Bello Matawalle was the lingering security problems inherited from the immediate past government of His predecessor Governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar.”
“Before the coming of the present administration of His Excellency Dr Bello Mohammed Matawallen Maradun , Zamfara people were in devastating state of dilemma and fear of the unknown due to rural banditry. Rampant killings, maiming, kidnapping, raping, vandalism and attacks became the order of the day.”
He said the genesis of the conflict in Zamfara began with the killing of the most popular and highly respected Fulani leader in all the neighbouring states of Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi, one Alhaji Ishe, of Chilin village in Kuyambana district of Dansadau Emirate in Maru Local Government Area of the state on the 11th of April 2013.
“ Since then, Fulani in the 3 states became aggrieved and aggressive against Hausa communities from where the Yansakai who did the killing came from.”
“The crisis began to worsen by the day through waves of attacks against each other and a series of revenge continued unabated. With the hostilities between the Fulani and Yansakai, each decided to form a formidable group and structure, the Fulani as bandits and Hausa as Yansakai, leading to the drawing of a battle line between them with increasing waves of attacks and counter-attacks, killing scores of innocent people, destruction of valuables and burning down of houses and foodstuffs. “
“To further worsen the situation, the Fulani bandits began to establish camps and started recruiting informants and new members into banditry even among the Hausa, as well as giving them training and weapons.”
“ Due to untimely attention and poor necessary intervention, the situation further worsened with attendant consequences of mayhem being unleashed on innocent people across the state. Hence, the bandits were able to establish 24 routes network across the 14 local government areas of the state, with Two Hundred and thirty-two (232) leaders and large followership of Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five bandits across the state,” he said.
He said consequently, there was the daily loss of lives, kidnappings of people, the rustling of livestock in their thousands and other forms of criminality.
“ People were traumatized. Farmers were prevented from going to their farms to cultivate the usual food and cash crops for their daily needs. There was general food insecurity in the state in particular and the region in general.”
“ The economy of the state was devastated by the crisis. This is in addition to the proliferation of both light and heavy weapons, with a high influx of bandits from the neighbouring countries, with no solution in sight. The crisis defied all forms of solution. “
“ This is in addition to a large number of bandits’ camps across the state and beyond. At least there are almost one hundred (100) different bandit camps with no fewer than 300 bandits in each of these camps having sophisticated weapons with them. “
“Coupled with the shortage of manpower in the security sector and a very poor intelligence network. Yet, the governor must ensure the protection of the lives and property of the people.”
“Now tell me, which is the best option for the governor? To fold his arms to watch his people being killed or to go for dialogue and continue to use the repentant bandits to convince the recalcitrant bandits to save the lives of the governed?” he asked.