Most wanted bandits kingpin Bello Turji has accepted Zamfara government’s peace offer and his now helping to clear out unrepentant bandits in the state, said Deputy Governor Hassan Nasiha on Sunday.
Mr Bello’s repentance had resulted in peace in Birnin Magaji, Shinkafi and Zurmi local government areas of Zamfara, Mr Nasiha said during a security conference organised by the Students Union of Medina University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“Everyone knows the notorious bandits’ kingpin, Bello Turji who has operated on that axis,” Mr Nasiha said in his remarks. “The state government, through the peace committee, entered into a peace deal with the bandits’ leader, and he agreed to stop the criminality and to embrace peace.”
He said he had met with bandits in the 14 local government areas of the state, adding that the state had not recorded bandits’ attacks in the Magami district for three months.
“Turji is now killing unrepentant bandits who unleashed terror on innocent citizens in Shinkafi, Zurmi and Birnin Magaji local government areas,” Mr Nasiha said.
He said that the peace committee set up by the Zamfara government met with nine bandits’ groups in their camps at Magami and Dansadau emirates, where they raised their concerns.
“They said Hausas always attacked and raped their women, killing the Fulani on their way to or returning from markets,” he said.
Mr Nasiha also told the conference that Zamfara had ordered the return of cattle grazing routes, lands, water for livestock and other property seized by Hausas to the herders.
Mr Nasiha said the Fulanis requested the government to consider freeing their youths in detention in correctional centres and police cells.
“They equally requested schools for their kids and other social services, including fertilisers and farm inputs.
“They said lack of education would influence a 12-year-old Fulani boy to kill a 70-year-old man using an AK-47 rifle,” the deputy governor said.
Chairman of the students union, Kabiru Maru, said it convened the conference to discuss how it would contribute to the peaceful resolution of the decades-old conflict in the state and the North-West region.