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BOOMING TRADE? Report says bandits collected N3bn ransom from 3,672 victims in Zamfara



Bandits raid Katsina village, abduct 15 women

Reports by a committee set up by Zamfara governor, Bello Matawalle has revealed that bandits in the state collected over N3 billion from about 3,672 victims as ransom.

The governor had set up the committee to examine the activities of bandits in the state and come up with ways of solving the problem.

The committee chaired by Mohammed Abubakar, a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), after carrying out its assignment, on Friday met and presented the reports to the governor in Gusau.

According to Abubakar, the report covered the period from June 2011 to May 29, 2019.

He said relatives of the 3,672 victims paid the N3 billion through their relatives in order to secure their freedom.

He also explained that a total of 4,983 women were widowed, 25,050 children orphaned and 190,340 persons displaced by banditry over the period in the state.

The report further revealed that innocent Fulani herdsmen lost 2,015 cattle, 141 sheep and goats, 2,600 donkeys and camels to rustlers while 147,800 vehicles, motorcycles and others were burnt at different times and locations within the period.

On how to resolve the menace, the former IGP advised the state government to take over all farmlands situated on grazing routes and adopt modern livestock farming to encourage herders to remain in one place.

He also said the committee recommended unconditional disarmament and setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry backed by law to address all forms of banditry in the future.

More so, the committee said the state government should partner with neighboring state governments to rehabilitate all inter- state roads, to ease movement of security personnel and the general public.

The state government was also advised by the committee to give priority to education and ensure that all children including those of nomads attended school.

Governor Matawalle, who appreciated the committee, assured to implement the recommendations, adding that he would not allow sentiment to hinder him from implementing them.

READ ALSO: Over 100 cases of kidnapping recorded in Taraba, N250m paid in ransom in 9 months, Gov Ishaku reveals

He said, “I would like to make it clear that personal relationship, sectional, geographical, religious and ethnic interests will have no role to play in the decision l will take with regard to recommendations of the committee, especially those that relate to the recommended sanctions and disciplinary measures.”

This came as Taraba governor, Darius Ishaku, also on Thursday, revealed that over 100 cases of kidnapping was recorded in the state and N250 million paid in ransom between January and September, 2019.

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