Zamfara State Committee on Armed Banditry and Related Offences, on Tuesday, said it will not take notorious bandit, Bello Turji seriously until he publicly surrenders his arms and announce that he has truly repented.
Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Nasiha had on Saturday told participants at a Security Conference that Turji had embraced dialogue and promised to fight against other terrorists.
Shortly after Governor Bello Matawalle’s assumption of office, he had introduced a peace dialogue with bandits as a way of ending the over decade long issues of banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping for ransom.
Several bandits, including Auwalun Daudawa, who masterminded the abduction of students in Kankara, Katsina State in December 2020, publicly surrendered their arms and pledged to embrace peace.
But barely two years into the programme, some of the bandits reneged and returned to the bush resume their criminal activities.
Chairman of the Committee, Abdullahi Shinkafi while speaking on Tuesday in Gusau, said the body would not be a party to any dialogue with bandits because of the insincerity of most of them.
Shinkafi said, “As far as I am concerned, I know that he has embraced peace, but I cannot say that he has repented because if he has repented, he has to surrender all his arms and ammunition, come to the government and submit his arms like what other repentant bandits did.
“Anything to do with dialogue with bandits, count me out because most of them are not trustworthy, they are not sincere, they are not honest, whatever you agreed with them, they will still go back to their bad business, most of them.”
He also lamented the “prolonged investigations and delayed prosecution” of arrested bandits.
He added, “The major problem we are having is from the security agencies and the judges and lawyers who are protecting these criminals, when you arrested a bandit with 11 AK-47 rifles, which evidence are you waiting for? He needs to be sent to his creator.
“When a bandit was caught in an act, killing people and you are waiting for investigation, what are you investigating for? Send him to his creator.”