Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawallen on Thursday, received three more repented bandits who surrendered their arms at the Government House, Gusau.
Among the repented bandits was one Muhammadu Sani Zakwi, the son of late Buharin Daji, Muhammad Sani Zakwi, a one time notorious bandit leader.
Zakwi inherited the leadership of one of the most dangerous camps in the state (Buharin Daji Camp) after his father’s death. The gang operated within Maru and Bungudu local Government Areas.
Items surrendered by the repentant bandits included 8 AK-47 rifles, two rocket launcher, 1 Map machine, and 1,041 live Ammunitions.
Receiving the repentant bandits and the surrendered arms and ammunition, Governor Matawallen noted that in less than two weeks, his administration had received four more groups of repentant bandits in furtherance to his carrot and stick approach to ensure lasting peace and tranquility in the state.
The Governor maintained that his administration will not rest on its oars until total peace is achieved in all parts of the state.
The Governor who thanked the Almighty God for making it possible for his administration to continue recording this successes, explained that the peace accord and reconciliation process with repentant bandits would be sustained in the state, while those unrepentant ones will face the full wrath of the law.
According to the Governor, not all Fulanis are criminals, noting that “as we all know, Fulanis are living and conducting their cattle rearing business in the bush.
He enjoined his colleagues, Governors across the country to embark on the peace and reconciliation with bandits and provide them with a sense of belonging.
He thanked the Emir of Maru and other stakeholders in the area for having talks with the bandits which led to the success recorded.
In a remak, the state Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Muhammed Dauran said this giant initiative of common approach towards addressing insecurity in the state is yielding positive results.
Alhaji Abubakar Dauran added that in this regard, a lot have been achieved in the state internal security operations as a result of the peace accord which led to the return of normalcy in some hard-hit areas.
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 his emirate and other stakeholders in the area engaged the bandits in the bush on the need to stop the ugly business and embrace the peace process of the state Government.
The occasion was attended by the former Deputy Governor of Zamfara state, Malam Ibrahim Wakkala Muhammed, Head of Service, Alhaji Kabiru Balarabe, Deputy Chief of staff, Dr. Bashir Muhammed Maru, Emir of Gusau, Alhaji Ibrahim Bello commissioners and senior Government officials.
On their parts, Zakwi with two of his colleagues said they were convinced to surrender with the way other repentant bandits were handled by the State Government.
“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.”