Residents of some villages in Zamfara State have cried out over renewed attacks on their communities despite the peace deal being championed by the Governor Bello Matawalle-led administration in the state.
The affected communities include Dankurmi, Zargado, Danhayin Zargado, Farar Kasa and others in Dansadau emirate, Maru Local Government Area of the state.
The residents say they now live in constant fear after bandits brandishing dangerous stormed Dankurmi, rustled about 600 cows and killed two people as well as a medical doctor in the community.
“In Dan Ma’aji, the bandits killed the leader of the vigilante force. They also attacked Farar Kasa where they shot at another vigilante leader known as Mai Bataliya, who is being treated at a hospital,” a source told the BBC Hausa Service.
However, the spokesperson of the Zamfara State Police Command, SP Muhammad Shehu, said they are taking the right steps to address the problem, noting that “it is not something that can be addressed in one night.”
“This peace deal is only about six months old; so it would be difficult to end a problem that had lasted for more than 10 months in six months,” Shehu added.
Bandits have launched several attacks on Zamfara communities over the years, rustling animals and kidnapping residents for ransom, a situation that forced many to abandon their farms and houses.
It would be recalled that the committee set up by the state government to find the root causes of the banditry in the state recently alleged that its recommendations were not implemented.
The nine-man committee, led by a former Inspector General of Police MD Abubakar, said more than two months after submitting its report, the governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun) has yet to act on it.
Some of the recommendations made by the committee included the dethronement of five traditional rulers along with many district and village heads and prosecution of some security agents over alleged involvement in the activities of the bandits.
The state government however said it was still studying the report and will implement its recommendations afterwards, insisting that it would not rush into action without careful consideration of the report.