Zamfara Bandits Have Collected ‘N3bn Ransom’

The committee set up by Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, to find solutions to banditry in the state, says suspected bandits have collected over N3 billion as ransom from relatives of abducted victims.

Mohammed Abubakar, a former inspector-general of police (IGP) and chairman of the committee, disclosed this while presenting the committee’s report to the governor on Friday.

Abubakar said the report covered the period from June 2011 to May 29, 2019, adding that the ransom was collected from 3,672 victims.

Abubakar said a total of 4,983 women were widowed, 25,050 children orphaned and 190,340 persons displaced in the state over the period.

He 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.

The former IGP said to achieve sustained peace, the state government should take over all farmlands situated on grazing routes and adopt modern livestock farming to encourage herders to remain in one place.

The committee also recommended unconditional disarmament and setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry backed by law to address all forms of banditry in the future.

The committee also advised the government to partner neighboring state governments to rehabilitate all interstate roads to ease the movement of security personnel and the general public.

Receiving the report, Matawalle promised to implement the recommendations.

“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,” he said.
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