The Zamfara State Committee on Armed Banditry and Related Offenses has expressed doubt over repentance of notorious bandit, Bello Turji, asking him to publicly declare repentance and surrender his arms.
On Saturday, the state Deputy Governor had told participants at a Security Conference that Turji had accepted dialogue and promised to turn against other terrorists.
Governor Bello Matawalle’s few months in the government, introduced a peace dialogue with bandits as a means of stopping the over decade long questions of Banditry, Cattle rustling and Kidnapping for ransom.
Various other bandits including Auwalun Daudawa, who engineered the abduction of Students in Kankara, Katsina state in December 2020, publicly surrendered their arms and embraced the path of peace.
However, just two years into the programme, some of the bandits have returned to the bush and continued criminal acts.
Abdullahi Shinkafi, chairman of the committee who spoke on Tuesday in Gusau, said the committee would not entertain to anymore dialogue with bandits because most of them are not honest.
In his words: “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.”
Furthermore, Shinkafi bemoaned the “prolonged investigations and delayed prosecution” of arrested bandits.
“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,” he argued.
“When an armed bandit was caught in an act, killing people and you are waiting for investigation, what are you investigating for? Send him to his creator.”