Banditry has become a serious security challenge in Nigeria and Zamfara is one of the states, where kidnapping is arguably a means of livelihood for bandits. 

In a bid to end activities of bandits in the state, a committee set up by the state governor, Bello Matawalle to find solutions to kidnapping in Zamfara has said that bandits have made over N3b as ransom from relatives of their victims. 

The Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Abubakar, a former inspector-general of police (IGP) made this known on Friday, October 11, 2019, while presenting the committee’s report to the governor. 

Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.[Twitter/@Bellomatawalle1]

Abubakar the report, which covered the period from June 2011 to May 29, 2019, showed that bandits in Zamfara have collected over N3bn as ransom from 3,672 victims.

Over the period, the committee chairman said a total of 4,983 women were widowed, 25,050 children orphaned and 190,340 persons displaced in the state.

Innocent Fulani herdsmen” lost 2,015 cattle, 141 sheep and goats, 2,600 donkeys and camels to rustlers while 147,800 vehicles, motorcycles, and others were burnt at different times and locations within the period”, he added. 

Proffering solution to the problem, the former IGP said the state government should take over all farmlands situated on grazing routes in the state to achieve sustained peace. 

He also advised the state government to adopt modern livestock farming to encourage herders to remain in one place.

According to TheCable, the committee also recommended unconditional disarmament and setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry backed by law to address all forms of banditry in the future.

In the committee’s recommendations, the state government was also urged to partner neighboring state governments to rehabilitate interstate roads to facilitate easy movement of security personnel and general public.

Receiving the report, governor Bello promised to implement all the recommendations of the committee, adding that he would make it clear that personal relationship, sectional, geographical, religious and ethnic interests will have no role to play in the decision.