The self-denying leader of a gang of robbers in the state of Zamfara, Amadou Qatar, renounced crime and handed over weapons to the state government.
Qatar, who handed over several rifles and ammunition to the government on Monday, said he was forced to become a bandit because local vigilantes illegally killed his parents, wives and children.
He said, “I was forced to join banditry for the out-of-court killing of my parents, children and husband by“ Yan Sakai ”(a local group of vigilant people).
“We are not thieves. We were law-abiding citizens; we are just fighting the injustice inflicted on us by a group of vigilant people. “
He said the governor’s peace initiative has encouraged many to give up robbery or take the crime elsewhere.
“There are also other colleagues in Zamfari who have vowed to continue the robbery but have moved to the Republic of Niger because they have learned that the government in Zamfari is committed to peace dialogue and cannot operate in the state.
“Most of us used to believe that the peace dialogue initiative was a common government fraud, which was why many ignored it. However, when I go out to accept the peace dialogue, I will convince many other colleagues who are suspicious of the surrender.
“We appeal to governments at all levels in the country to protect the lives and property of Fulani because they are being killed innocently every day in the forest, and if this is not controlled, great damage will be done,” Qatar said.
SaharaReporters previously reported that Governor Bello Matawalle hosted Katare and two other repentant bandits at the Government House on Monday.
“We thank God for making us witnesses to another day of success. “Since we started this dialogue with these people, we have had so many attacks from all angles, because people do not understand what that means,” the governor said during the event.
“People have discussed the issue of insecurity, but they do not know the root cause and do not want to understand. They just jump in and conclude why governments A, B, C, D subscribe to dialogue.
“The government is doing everything possible to wipe out all the weapons that belong to them, to bring it to the proper authority.”
Zamfara, like other northwestern states, has faced devastating attacks by armed bandits in the last 10 years.
In 2019, the state government entered into a peace agreement with the gunmen.
In 2020, the governor also gave the leaders of various ‘repentant’ bandit groups about 15 brand new Hilux vehicles and monetary gifts.
But despite all this, communities in the country continue to be attacked and residents abducted and / or killed.