Tue. Apr 13th, 2021

INSECURITY: 100 camps with 30,000 bandits operate in Northern forest ― Matawalle

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Bello Matawalle, the Governor of Zamfara state has said there are at least 100 camps and 30,000 bandits spread across six states in the Northern region.Speaking in Kaduna on Friday, the Governor who was represented by the State Commissioner for Information, Alh Ibrahim Dosara, listed the states as Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi Kaduna, Niger and Sokoto.“At least there are almost one hundred (100) different bandit camps with no fewer than 300 bandits in each of these camps having sophisticated weapons with them,” he declared.Commenting further, Matawalle said bandits had equally established 24 routes network across the 14 local government areas of the state, with 232 leaders and large followership of 4,825 bandits across the State.The implication of this he said were daily loss of lives, kidnappings of people, the rustling of livestock and other forms of criminality.Also, he disclosed that between 2011 when the crisis began, to 2019 2,619 people were killed, 1,190 kidnapped, and the sum of N900m was paid as ransom, while 14, 378 animals rustled in the state.Also, he said, “100,000 people were displaced from their ancestral homes. This is in addition to the hundreds of houses that were burned to ashes with foodstuffs and other valuables worth billions of Naira destroyed by the bandits.“People were traumatized. Farmers were prevented from going to their farms to cultivate the usual food and cash crops for their daily needs. There was general food insecurity in the state in particular and the region in general.“The economy of the state was devastated by the crisis. This is in addition to the proliferation of both light and heavy weapons, with a high influx of bandits from the neighbouring countries, with no solution in sight. The crisis defied all forms of solution.“Now tell me, which is the best option for the governor? To fold his arms to watch his people being killed or to go for dialogue and continue to use the repentant bandits to convince the recalcitrant bandits, to save the lives of the governed?

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