No fewer than 2,619 people have been killed in various attacks by bandits in Zamfara, authorities in the state have said.
The Commissioner of Information in Zamfara, Ibrahim Dosara, noted that the deaths were recorded in the state between 2011 and 2019.
Addressing a press conference on Friday in Kaduna State, he disclosed that the bandits also abducted 1,190 people from various parts of Zamfara in the last eight years.
Dosara stated that over 100,000 people were displaced from their ancestral homes as a result of bandits’ activities, while 14,378 livestock were rustled within the period.
He added that since 2011, the Zamfara State government has spent the sum of N970 million on payment of ransom to bandits to secure the release of kidnapped victims.
The commissioner lamented that there were more than 100 different camps and over 30,000 bandits operating across Zamfara State and beyond.
He, however, said the state government’s amnesty programme for bandits would continue in order to secure its people.
According to Dosara, Zamfara lacks enough security forces from the Federal Government to secure the lives and properties of the people in the state.
In spite of this, he believes the attacks by bandits in Zamfara have drastically reduced since the inception of the Bello Matawalle administration in 2019.
The commissioner said the government has put practicable measures in place, such as the peace and reconciliation process and the amnesty programme, to tackle the security challenges in the state.
He revealed that through the dialogue and peace process of the government, over 62 bandits have surrendered their arms – a development that has led to the release of over 2,000 kidnapped victims with the help of repentant bandits.
Giving a background of the genesis of rural banditry in Zamfara, Dosara said it started with a conflict between the Fulani and Hausa communities in the state.
He decried that the recent upsurge in occasional attacks and kidnappings in some parts of the state were being masterminded by some conflict entrepreneurs and informants who connived with the recalcitrant bandits to commit heinous acts.