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Zamfara Traditional Rulers Arrested For Working As Informants To Bandits |RN

Nigerian Army said apart from the arrests of the leaders of Doka and Mutu villages, whose names were not disclosed, the troops apprehended 16 other suspected informants and errand men to the bandits.

Troops of the Nigerian Army attached to Operation Harbin Kunama 3 have arrested the traditional heads of Doka and Mutu villages in Gusau Local Government Area of the state, accusing them of serving as informants to bandits.

The Army confirmed the arrest in a statement issued on Monday.

Six bandits was shot dead in Kirsa and Sunke villages in the Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State during a gun battle.

Two weeks ago, Mansur Dan-Ali, the Minister of Defence, had said some traditional rulers in Zamfara and the North-West region were helping some bandits to perpetuate criminal activities.

The Zamfara State Council of Chiefs denied the allegations.

Moreso, the Nigerian Army said apart from the arrests of the leaders of Doka and Mutu villages, whose names were not disclosed, the troops apprehended 16 other suspected informants and errand men to the bandits.

The Army said: “Troops on Operation Harbin Kunama 3, based on credible intelligence about bandits’ movements in Kirsa and Sunke in the Anka LGA, continued with a clearance operation into the hinterland to clear the brigands.

“Consequently, the troops engaged the bandits in a shoot-out at the bushes of Kirsa and Sunke villages which resulted in the extermination of six criminals, the recovery of two AK-47 rifles and two motorcycles.

“In Doka and Mutu villages in the Gusau LGA, troops also had a serious encounter on Saturday with a group of bandits which lasted for about two hours.

“The brigands were armed with sophisticated automatic weapons, but they were overpowered by the troops, forcing them to flee from their hideouts. Eighteen suspected informants to the bandits were arrested, including the village heads of Doka and Mutu villages.

“The Force Commander, Major General Hakeem Otiki, said the troops would continue to go after bandits in Zamfara and the contiguous states of Kebbi, Katsina and Sokoto.”       (Sahara Reporters)

 

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Gov. Yari Of Zamfara Reveals How Emir Of Zurmi Told Him To “Wipe Out” Entire Village

Abdulaziz Yari, Governor of Zamfara State, has revealed how the Emir of Zurmi once asked him to “go and wipe out” Dumburum Village because it has been a hideout for bandits for over three years.

Yari said this while insisting that the government will not apologise over allegations by council chiefs in the state that villagers were killed during aerial bombardment of suspected bandit camps in Dumburum village, Zurmi Local Government Area of the state, by the Nigeria Air Force (NAF).

Speaking on Saturday receiving a seven-member investigative team on the matter at his private residence in Talata-Mafara, Yari maintained that the NAF had only targeted bandits.

“As far as I am concerned and as the head of government in the state, l haven’t seen anything wrong done by the Air Force; l haven’t received any brief on such matter,” he said.

“Dumburum has been a criminal hideout for over three years and the Emir of Zurmi has once asked me to go and wipe out the area saying all those residing there were bandits, so l am surprised that the Emir will be part of those saying innocent people were killed in an encounter in the area.

“Some people will stay in Abuja and fabricate things against the operations in Zamfara in order to distract the operation, this we must not allow.

“Please, all security agencies, especially the Air Force, should continue with your usual constitutional duties and the state government will give you all the support to facilitate your concentration in trying to bring back peace, which has eluded the state since 2007.

“You should continue with the firepower to show the criminals that there is a government in place and we won’t negotiate with them again because when we did that in the past; the leaders pretended as if all was well while they allowed their boys to continue to lay siege on the communities.”

Idi Lubo, leader of the investigative team, handed over a letter of condolence from Sadique Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff, to Yari, and promised to “unravel the truth” about the killings.

“The chief of air staff has directed us to properly investigate the matter in order to unravel the truth,” he said.

“We have visited other stakeholders and discovered that there was misinformation which we have now resolved and wish to assure the people of the state that we shall continue to discharge our assigned responsibilities in protecting the innocent with professionalism.”

While in the state, the team also visited heads of security agencies, traditional rulers and government officials. (Sahara Reporters)

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Military Airstrikes Cannot Kill Us Because We Get Information Ahead Of Attacks, Bandits Reveal

During the phone conversation, the bandit also claimed that there would continue to be bloodshed as long as the Nigerian government continues to send in more troops to the state.

Bandits ravaging Zamfara communities have disclosed that they have information feeding them with every move of the military against them.

This was disclosed in a tape recording the conversation of a bandit (yet to be identified) with an emir in Zamfara, obtained by the Punch newspaper.

During the phone conversation, the bandit also claimed that there would continue to be bloodshed as long as the Nigerian government continues to send in more troops to the state.

The bandit said: “God has already given you a position (as an emir) and when you talk, people listen. You have some poor masses in the bushes. This violence started happening in our state about six years ago or so.

“They killed my people; they killed my relations; they killed my wives, my children. They killed some of my cows. I ran away when they killed my people. Then I involved myself in the activities of these terrorist groups. Now, I have escaped and back in my community. Will you not accept me as a member of this community?”

The emir replied, “Aka ne (yes, that is it).”

The bandit continued: “You should call your chiefs and bring your people from the bushes and from the village. Anywhere you meet us, advise the people of the community to join hands with the Miyetti Allah association. This land will be peaceful.

“If they make it this way, peace will reign. But to say you will call police and soldiers to Zamfara, this will not bring peace. It will continue to cause more bloodshed.”

The emir replied again, “Aka ne (yes, that is it).”

The bandit said: “Sometimes, you hear that they bombed a place where the bandits are camping. But the next day, the bandits will still come and strike in another place, close to where they bombed.”

The emir responded: “We also are not in support of the bombings.”

The bandit continued: “The reason why their bombing will not work is because before their helicopter comes around, information has already reached us. Before the helicopter leaves any base, the information will reach us, and even where it will land. If they bomb any place, they will kill only birds and animals, which are there.

“Also on land, soldiers were sent to attack us. But before they come, information has reached us. We know how we will attack them and know all areas where they will follow. We want you to ban anything vigilante.

“People are surprised that they use airplanes to attack us but we are just like ants. They can’t see us; it is God that is helping us.”

The emir replied: “Killing human beings is not good. I have heard your grievances and it is a load on me and I will try to unite the people of the community. We will still call you together to deliberate on it. I will try to ban vigilantes in any other place and I will give the feedback to the government.”

The Nigeria government had earlier in the week claimed that some Zamfara chiefs and monarchs were conniving with the bandits.

The chiefs dispelled the claim, alleging that the military airstrikes have been targeted at homes of innocent villagers. (Sahara Reporters)

 

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