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Why I Stopped Negotiating With Bandits – Matawalle

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Why I Stopped Negotiating With Bandits - Matawalle

Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle has explained why his administration stopped negotiating with bandits.

Matawalle said that the bandits did not honour a peace agreement.

Matawalle on Thursday told reporters at the State House, Abuja, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, that relative peace had returned to the state.

According to him, the state government had been steadfast in the fight against banditry and that the people were seeing results.

Among other measures, telecommunication operations were shut down in the state.

Asked whether dialogue was no longer an option, Matawalle said: “They have deceived us. Some of them did not follow what we agreed with them.

READ ALSO: Terrorists, Bandits Take Over Forest Reserves, National Parks

“We thought it was something we could continue with them, but we later realised that they had deceived us.

“So, we had to back out of it and decide to fight them to a logical conclusion.

“As you know, we are there fighting and we have taken a lot of measures in order to curtail this problem of insurgency and we thank God it’s yielding a lot of results. We’ve recorded a lot of successes from what we have done.

“As you are aware, we have a lot of security personnel that were deployed to Zamfara State and they are working seriously.”

He believes the state is “calm and people are going on with their day-to-day activities”.

He added: “We have imposed a lot of measures and the people are happy with the measures because the people have suffered a lot.

“People were being killed and kidnapped every day, but today we have succeeded, we don’t have much of such issues in Zamfara State.”

Also yesterday, a 10-year research by a lecturer at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Dr. Murtala Ahmed Rufa’i, revealed that over 120 bandits groups were terrorising Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kabbi, Kaduna and Niger.

The report says each group possessed no less than 500 AK-47 and AK-49 rifles.

The research report titled; ‘I Am A Bandit’ says the gangs had in the last 10years killed over 12,000 people and stolen about 250,000 livestock.

Rufa’i, a history lecturer, who presented the paper at the 15th Usmanu Danfodiyo University Seminar said, some of the gangs like those of Gide, Mai-Taguwa and Turji own sophisticated weapons like RPGS and anti-aircraft weapons.

Tracing the origin of banditry in Zamfara to 2011, the don said the crime started as a traditional farmer-herder conflict or insignificant rural unrest, transforming into full-blown conflict, engulfing most parts of the Northwest.

He said: “The first criminal gang was formed by Kundu and Buharin Daji. It grew from a single cell, mainly in operation in Zamfara in 2011, to over one hundred and twenty (120) gangs across six states in 2021.

READ ALSO: Bandits Terrorising Nigeria Are Fulani Herdsmen- Masari

“These gangs are basically associated with mass killing of innocent people, cattle rustling, kidnapping, gender-based and sexual violence (GBSV) and other related human rights abuses.”

“At the beginning, they lived in the woods and mountainous areas, from where they unleashed terror on the rural and urban areas in the states.

“Some of the bandits have become very daring to the extent of operating from their respective villages.

“Approximately, over 10,000 armed bandits are operating across different parts of Zamfara state.

“These gangs have so far killed over 12,000 people and stole about 250,000 livestock from 2011 to 202

“About 120 villages were destroyed while 50,000 people were either internally displaced or made refugees in the neighbouring Niger Republic.”

 

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U.K. Magazine Condemns Corruption In Buhari’s Govt, Army, Police

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U.K. Magazine Condemns Corruption In Buhari's Govt, Army, Police

The London-based news magazine, The Economist, has condemned what it identified as corruption and ineptness in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, the military and the police.

The 178-year-old magazine said this in an editorial titled, ‘The Crime Scene at the Heart of Africa,’ which was published in its October 23, 2021, issue.

It said due to Buhari’s mismanagement of the economy, food prices had soared while life had become more difficult for Nigerians.

The editorial read in part : “Economic troubles are compounded by a government that is inept and heavy-handed. Mr Buhari, who was elected in 2015, turned an oil shock into a recession by propping up the naira and barring many imports in the hope this would spur domestic production.

“Instead he sent annual food inflation soaring above 20 per cent. He has failed to curb corruption, which breeds resentment. Many Nigerians are furious that they see so little benefit from the country’s billions of petrodollars, much of which their rulers have squandered or stolen.”

The Economist stated that even before COVID-19 last year, Nigeria was already witnessing unprecedented poverty.

The news magazine opined that this economic hardship was fuelling the current insecurity in the country.

“Two factors help explain Nigeria’s increasing instability: a sick economy and a bumbling government. Slow growth and two recessions have made Nigerians poorer, on average, each year since oil prices fell in 2015.

“Before COVID-19, 40 per cent of them were below Nigeria’s extremely low poverty line of about $1 a day. If Nigeria’s 36 states were stand-alone countries, more than one-third would be categorised by the World Bank as

“low-income” (less than $1,045 a head). Poverty combined with stagnation tends to increase the risk of civil conflict,” it argued.

READ ALSO: Establishing Naval Base In Kano Has Worsened Buhari’s Nepotism, Parochialism – Clark

The Economist gave the Nigerian Army a dressing down, describing the military organisation as only strong on paper.

It alleged that the army had ghost workers on its payroll and often sold equipment to insurgents who destabilise the nation.

The news magazine said the Nigeria Police Force was poorly trained and underpaid hence they rob innocent citizens in order to augment their salaries.

The editorial further read: “When violence erupts, the government does nothing or crack heads almost indiscriminately. Nigeria’s Army is mighty on paper. But many of its soldiers are ‘ghosts’ who exist only on the payroll, and much of its equipment is stolen and sold to insurgents. The army is also stretched thin, having been deployed to all of Nigeria’s states.

“The police are understaffed, demoralised and poorly trained. Many supplement their low pay by robbing the public they have sworn to protect.”

It called on the Department of State Services to stop disobeying court orders and release all those being detained illegally.

The Economist described as scandalous the refusal of the Nigerian government to arrest and prosecute any of the security operatives that killed protesters in Lagos last year.

The news magazine said in order to stop the slide towards lawlessness, Nigeria’s government should make its own forces obey the law.

The editorial further read: “Soldiers and police who murder or torture should be prosecuted. That no one has been held accountable for the slaughter of perhaps 15 peaceful demonstrators against police abuses in Lagos last year is a scandal. The secret police should stop ignoring court orders to release people who are being held illegally. This would not just be morally right, but also practical: young men who see or experience state brutality are more likely to join extremist groups.”

READ ALSO: How Buhari’s Panel Sold Six-storey Building For Paltry N100m

The news magazine noted that Nigeria was home to one of the largest film industries in the world and had the most successful start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa.

It argued that despite the great potential of the country, youths were beginning to emigrate in droves because of the sorry state of Nigeria.

 

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Govt Recaptures 262 Escaped Inmates From Oyo Correctional Facility

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Govt Recaptures 262 Escaped Inmates From Oyo Correctional Facility

The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) says 262 inmates from the 837 who escaped from the Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo town have been recaptured.

The Spokesperson of the NCS Oyo command, Olanrewaju Anjorin, in a statement on Saturday in Ibadan, said while 262 escaped inmates had been recaptured, 575 were still at large.

It was reported that suspected gunmen invaded the facility on Friday at about 9.30 p.m., blowing up the facility with dynamite and freeing all 837 awaiting trial inmates.

Mr Anjorin said, “All the awaiting trial detainees were forced out of custody, the cells housing the convicts and the female inmates were not vandalised.

“Meanwhile, a total of 262 of the escapees have been recaptured leaving 575 still at large.”

READ ALSO: Prisoners Escape As Gunmen Attack Oyo Correctional Facility

According to him, “the State Controller, Noel Ailewon, has commenced the process of search and recapture after visiting the scene of the incident.”

Assuring the public the fleeing inmates will be recaptured, the spokesperson said credible intelligence was needed to assist security agencies to track down the inmates.

He said the Oyo Custodial Centre was established in 2007 with a capacity of 160 inmates but had a total population of 907 at the time of the attack.

“Of this number, awaiting trial persons were 837 representing 92 per cent with just 64 convicts,” Mr Anjorin said.

(NAN)

 

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How My Father Was Jailed For Not Sending Me To School – Atiku

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How My Father Was Jailed For Not Sending Me To School - Atiku

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has narrated how his father was jailed for failing to send him to school while he was growing up as a teenager.

The former presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stated this while delivering a speech at the Baze University Graduation ceremony in Abuja on Friday.

Atiku also said that his father later embraced the idea of education and despite his humble background, he enjoyed quality education for free.

In his speech titled “Solving Nigeria’s Education Challenges”, Atiku said : “I was a schoolboy and a herdsboy, and I fed my family.

READ ALSO: How To End Kidnapping Of University Students, Others – Atiku

“When I was 11 years old, my father drowned and died while crossing a river in the neighbourhood. He was not up to 40 years.

“Being an only child, I was raised by my maternal grandparents. I remember, sometimes we could barely afford one meal a day.

“Despite my difficult background, I went to school for free, in fact, I was paid to go to school.

“Initially, my father did not buy the idea of me going to school, for which he had to go to jail. I furthered my education to other tertiary institutions. I was the Students Union President at the School of Hygiene, Kano.

“My journey to education is different from yours. Your parents may have paid tuition fees for your education, but you did not have to rear cattle for food. However, both you and I got educated eventually. The paths may be different; nonetheless, the destination remains the same. Let us help others to reach their destination too.”

 

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