A leader of a gang of bandits operating along the Shinkafi-Sokoto axis in Zamfara State, Kachalla Turji, has said that the state government keeps lying to them and has fulfilled only one of 10 promises made to them.
The bandits’ leader stated this during a peace meeting with popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, in the state.
According to SBM Intel in its February 2021 report, the bandits’ leader said the only promise the state governor fulfilled to them was to give their community a borehole.
He, however, refused to disclose the other nine promises.
The bandits’ leader said, “Remember our negotiation with the Zamfara State governor. Among the 10 promises I had in person with him, how many were fulfilled? Just one, which is a borehole. After that, no other thing was done.
“No citizen of Shinkafi has ever wronged any soldier. Some people stole cows and I returned them, people were kidnapped and I released them, big phones were stolen and I returned them. They brought in some huge amount of money and I personally returned it. For the past five years that I have been working in Shinkafi, cows and soldiers have never been brought here that I don’t return. Why are they not seeing our efforts?
“Why is it that when we request for something, they do not do it for us? You see that they keep promising without fulfilling. Shinkafi local government chairman lied to us, Shinkafi Islamic clerics lied to us, Shinkafi youth leader lied to us, Shinkafi district police officer (DPO) lied to us, in fact, every leader in Shinkafi has been lying to us.”
Turji, who was reportedly trained by Buharin Daji, and stepped into his shoes after Daji’s demise, also indicated that even if he were killed by security forces, there were others who were ready to take over from him.
“Someone will rise because he is angry that I have been killed, and he will go ahead to do something that (he) is not supposed to. Honestly, I’m aware of everything they are planning; some people seek the grace to kill me while it will be a privilege for others to rise. There was even a time they planned with someone to lure me to Shinkafi to be arrested. Honestly, I can even say his name. But even if I’m arrested, have the people supplying these guns been arrested?” he added.
In the past few weeks, Sheikh Gumi, had conducted a series of dialogue sessions with Fulani communities and allied militants, in an attempt to listen to their grievances and pave the way for the cessation of violence in North-West Nigeria.
The SBM Intelligence report noted that on January 21, more than 500 armed men, reportedly responsible for terrorist attacks in Birnin Gwari, Giwa and Zaria local government areas of Kaduna State agreed to lay down their arms in a peace deal struck by Sheikh Gumi.
Gumi had held a sermon in Sabon Garin Yadi, a remote area in Giwa LGA.
SBM Intel is an Africa-based research and strategic communications consulting firm.