On Thursday, Zamfara State Governor Bello Mohammed Matawallen received three more repentant bandits who gave up their weapons at the Gusau Government House.
Muhammad Sani Zakwi, the son of the late Buharin Daji, Muhammad Sani Zakwi, once a notorious bandit leader, was among the repentant bandits.
After his father’s death, Zakwi inherited the leadership of one of the most dangerous camps in the state (Buharin Daji Camp). The gang worked within the local government areas of Maru and Bungudu.
Items surrendered by the repentant bandits included 8 AK-47 rifles, two rocket launcher, 1 Map machine, and 1,041 live Ammunitions.
Governor Matawallen noted that in less than two weeks, his administration had received four more groups of repentant bandits in support of his carrot and stick strategy to insure lasting peace and tranquilly in the state, after receiving the repentant bandits and the surrendered arms and ammunition.
The Governor maintained that before complete peace is reached in all parts of the state, his administration would not rest on its oars.
The Governor, who thanked the Almighty God for allowing his administration to continue to record these accomplishments, explained that in the state, the peace agreement and reconciliation process with repentant bandits would be upheld, while those unrepentant ones would face the full wrath of the law.
Not all Fulanis are criminals, according to the Governor, adding that “as we all know, Fulanis live and conduct their cattle rearing business in the bush.”
He directed his colleagues, governors across the country, to embark on peace and reconciliation with the bandits and give them a sense of belonging.
He thanked the Emir of Maru and other local stakeholders for having conversations with the bandits that led to the reported achievement.
In a remake, Alhaji Abubakar Muhammad Dauran, State Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, claimed that this giant initiative of a shared approach to tackling insecurity in the state is showing positive results.
Alhaji Abubakar Dauran added that, in this regard, as a result of the peace agreement which led to the return of normalcy in some hard-hit areas, much has been achieved in state internal security operations.
The commissioner explained that since the beginning of the peace process and reconciliation with bandits in the state, about 181 sophisticated weapons, 1525 live Ammunitions, 64 magazines, 2 number of Handcuffs as well as 887 locally fabricated Den guns were voluntarily surrendered by repentant bandits and local vigilantè group (Yansakai) across the state.
Earlier, the Emir of Maru, Alhaji Abubakar Gado Maigari, told the Governor that the bandits in the bush were engaged by his emirate and other stakeholders in the region in the need to stop the ugly business and embrace the state government’s peace process.
The former Deputy Governor of the State of Zamfara, Malam Ibrahim Wakkala Muhammed, Head of Service, Alhaji Kabiru Balarabe, Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr. Bashir Muhammad Maru, Emir of Gusau, Commissioners of Alhaji Ibrahim Bello and senior government officials attended the gathering.
On their side, Zakwi and two of his colleagues said that they were persuaded to surrender in the manner in which the State Government treated other repentant bandits.
“We finally resolved to surrender and join the society for normal living and peace to reign as a result of reconciliation and dialogue” they said.
Zakwi swore that, henceforth, he will live peacefully and enjoy citizenship in the state.
“I swear in the name of the holy Almighty God, that I will never either kill, kidnap or disturb the peace of innocent citizens of Zamfara State and even beyond again. I want to live as a law-abiding and peace-loving citizen,” he said.
“I want to assure the innocent people of Zamfara State that, a large number of bandits still living in the forest are willing to embrace peace as we were all made to understand that, administration of Governor Matawalle does not mean to trap and harm us, but rather meant to restore peace in the state.”
Responding, Governor Matawalle assured the repentant bandits of equal treatment without being stigmatized by any person or group of persons.
“My administration was committed to providing conducive living standard such as better education, health care delivery among other things.”