What bandit kingpin Turji states in truce letter to Buhari, Matawalle

December 19, 2021
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Following the court declaration of bandits operating across the northwest as terrorists, the military intensified its offensive on the criminals in Sokoto and Zamfara in particular, and the criminals are now pleading for their lives.

The most notorious of the bandit kingpins, Bello Turji, has written a letter of truce to President Muhammadu Buhari, Zamfara Gov Bello Matawalle, and Emir of Shinkafi.

The letter, according to the Daily Trust, was dated December 14.

Written in Hausa, the letter justified the activities of the bandits, stating injustice and killing of their own people.

Turji however regretted the killings by the bandits’ gangs, the yan sa-kai, and security forces.

He urged the government to dissolve the Yan sa Kai—the volunteer guards—to bring the hostilities to an end. And as soon as that happens, he will turn in his own weapons.

He promised to turn in his own arms if that is done.

Before now, the criminal groups started making peace at the community level, and the bandit leaders came under pressure from their followers to let up.

Dansadau and Kachallah are among those communities already enjoying the relative peace the deal offered.

A lot of factors necessitated this moves.

Apart from the unrelenting military pounding, the on-coming dry season is making it difficult for the bandits to get concealment in the forests.

“They get relaxed and are more comfortable during the rains because the trees and other shrubs give them comfortable cover from the surveillance of security agents. The green pasture also means that their cattle will be in no need of food,” the newspaper quoted a security source in Gusau.

This exposure has been a plus for the military now moving in for the keel.

The federal government has yet to state its official position on the latest development. But its stand over the years is that bandits deserve no amnesty, and it will not embrace any offer from them lest the government should appear weak.

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