BANDITARY: Unrepentant Bandits Excesses Untackled_Femi Ehiabhi

A volunteer security outfit in Zamfara known as ‘Yansakai’ has urged the state government and security agencies to tackle the excesses of unrepentant bandits in the state.

The group which is supporting security agencies to address banditry in the state said its members were under constant threats and attacks from bandits.

Alhaji Sani Babban-Doka, Secretary of the group stated this on Monday in Gusau at the continuation of meeting with repentant bandits and members of the volunteer security body, organised by the state’s ministry of security and Home Affairs.

Babban-Doka said most of their members have stopped attending security meetings due to fear of attack by bandits.

He said, “although we have obeyed the security directives not to carry firearms, our members are now living in perpetual fear of threats from both unrepentant bandits and our members who refused to embrace the peace initiative of the state government.

“Even the attendance of this meeting is poor because some of our members could not come due to the fear of being attacked by those who are against the peace accord especially in the most volatile areas.

“Presently, some unrepentant bandits have vowed to kill 10 of our members for every one of their own that is killed,’’ he said.

He therefore appealed to the state government and the security agency to come to their aid by giving them cover and responding promptly when their communities come under attack.

In his contribution, the state Commissioner of Information, Alhaji Suleiman Anka commended the cooperation of the vigilante members.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Usman Nagogo thanked all those who supported the peace initiative and surrendered their arms to authorities.

“We are aware of all those unrepentant ones and we have received the state government’s permission to handle them appropriately,’’ Nagogo said.

While speaking on last Saturday night attack on Yarkatsinawa village in Bungudu Local Government Area of the state, the CP lamented and described it as unfortunate.

He called on the Yansakai to continue to be law-abiding while efforts were on track to arrest the perpetrators.

Col. Alhassan Grema of the 1 Brigade of the Nigeria Army noted that “the law is clear against people taking the laws into their hands but one has the right to defend oneself.

“You should continue to give us credible information but do not go looking for innocent Fulani and attack them, we won’t tolerate this,’’ he maintained.

The Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran who expressed satisfaction over the maintenance of peace in the state said his ministry would continue to hold such meetings to sustain the peace.

A renowned Islamic Cleric, Sheik Muhammad Sodangi charged all criminals against killing fellow beings as “Allah will not take it lightly with anyone who takes the life of another.’’

The Yansakai vigilante group was outlawed by the former Governor Abdulaziz Yari administration over alleged infractions.

The group was, however, made to lay down their arms and reintegrated into the state security architecture following Governor Bello Matawalle peace accord.

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