- The Zamfara State Government on Monday said it would employ repentant bandits in the state and give them money to set up business to end banditry and its resultant killings and abductions in the state.
The state government has also agreed to disband its 8,500 civilian Joint Task Force recruited by the former governor, Alhaji Abdul Aziz Yari, as demanded by the bandits during a peace deal between the government and the repentant hoodlums.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran, said the government decided to employ the repentant bandits and empower some of their illiterate members because they had embraced peace.
He said most of the bandits were Fulani.
Bandits have consistently attacked Zamfara towns and villages in the last five years.
Yari had during a town hall meeting in Gusau, the state capital, in April said bandits had killed 3,526 persons in the state in the last five years.
He had also said, “Over 13,000 hectares of farmlands were either destroyed or made useless as farmers can no longer use the lands for farming. Nearly 500 villages have also been devastated and 8,219 persons were injured, some are still in critical conditions.”
But since the assumption of Governor Bello Matawalle in office, the bandits had been surrendering their arms and releasing their captives after the government engaged the hoodlums in a dialogue.
On Sunday, Matawalle in Abuja, said the bandits had freed 300 people they kidnapped.