Turji, a leader of bandits in Zamfara State, has released villagers and travelers kidnapped by his men over the weekend in an effort to draw attention to his father’s arrest by security forces.
Turji abducted about 100 girls from Kazaure, Jigawa State, some two weeks after his father was arrested. In an exclusive report, the Daily Trust reported the mass abduction.
The father is said to have moved to Jigawa State after failing to dissuade his son from his criminal ways.
The father was arrested after an informant from a rival gang tipped off security forces that his son was trading in cattle stolen by his father’s gang.
A number of villagers were abducted and a number of cattle were rustled in attacks on villages such as Kware, Kurya, Badarawa, Keta and Maberaya.
Sources told Daily Trust that Turji also received his father from mediators on Sunday afternoon.
Turji has agreed to release the abductees as part of a broader mediation process initiated by the federal government as an alternative resolution strategy to tackle rural banditry.
A security source who is part of the new process said, “He released the villagers unconditionally in response to the pleas of mediators who brought key bandits to the table with the government.”
Daily Trust obtained an audio clip on Sunday in which Turji promised to release all the people and animals taken by his men once his father was returned to him.
“Let them give my father to you. He assured the caller, a prominent community leader in Shinkafi, that once they brought him to Bayan Ruwa, all the abductees and animals in his custody would be released.