Zamfara bandits in less than eight years had collected at least N3 billion from over three thousands victims, a committee set up by Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has said.
The PDP governor set up the committee which comprises of security experts to find solutions to banditry in a state that is gradually toeing the path of anarchy.
The committee is headed by Nigeria’s former Inspector General of Police Mohammed Diko Abubakar.
While presenting the committee’s report to the governor, MD Abubakar said the report covered the period from June 2011 to May 29, 2019.
According to him, N3 billion ransom was collected from 3,672 victims. He didn’t’ mention how much was paid by the family of each victims, but it means the minimum of N816, 000 was paid per victim.
Giving the breakdown, the ex-IGP said a total of 4,983 women had their husbands killed by the criminals while 25,050 children were rendered orphans and 190,340 persons displaced in the state.
Insecurity in the once peaceful Zamfara state blew into the senseless killing of innocent residents during the administration of a former APC governor Abdulaziz Yari.
Mr Abubakr also added that “innocent Fulani herdsmen” lost 2,015 cattle, 141 sheep and goats, 2,600 donkeys and camels to rustlers while 147,800 vehicles, motorcycles, and others were burnt at different times and locations within the period.
Some of the recommendations of the MD Abubakar-led committee include:
- The state government should take over all farmlands situated on grazing routes.
- Adopt modern livestock farming to encourage herders to remain in one place.
- Unconditional disarmament and setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry backed by law to address all forms of banditry in the future.
- Partner neighbouring state governments to rehabilitate all interstate roads to ease the movement of security personnel and the general public.
The governor who received the report promised to implement the recommendations.
Governor Matawalle was quoted as saying, “I would like to make it clear that personal relationship, sectional, geographical, religious and ethnic interests will have no role to play in the decision l will take with regard to recommendations of the committee, especially those that relate to the recommended sanctions and disciplinary measures,”
The former Governor Yari was accused of abuse of power when he was in office. He was also accused of ruling the state from Abuja.