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ZAMFARA: 25,000 persons displaced by banditry return home

Bello Matawalle

The Zamfara State Emergency Agency says about 25,000 persons displaced by banditry in the state have returned to their towns and villages.

This was revealed by the executive secretary of the agency, Alhaji Sanusi Kwatarkwashi in an interview with reporters on Friday in Gusau, adding that this was made possible by efforts of the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle.

According to Kwatarkwashi, the state recorded 37,000 Internally Displaced Persons in the heat of the banditry, adding that the returnees had gone back to their normal businesses of farming, animal rearing and other activities.

He further disclosed that the remaining 12,000 IDPs were in Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and some parts of Niger Republic, assuring that the state government was set to return them to their towns and villages as relative peace had returned to the state.

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“I believe all IDPs in the host communities want to go back to their homes rather than to continue to stay with friends or relatives,’’ he said.

One of the returnees, Sani Saidu from Gusami village in Birnin Magaji Local Government Area of the state, while speaking with reporters, commended the governor for the dialogue with the bandits.

According to him, it was the dialogue that made it possible for him and others to return to their ancestral homes.

“Most of us did not have any form of disability but were forced out of our homes to live in IDP camps or with relatives as a result of the activities of the bandits.

“We depended on begging and hard labour to survive; we shunned the temptation of joining the bad gang,’’ Saidu said.

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