Matawalle Moves To Tackle Bandits As Shehu Gives Reason Why Buhari Has Not Designated The Group As Terrorists

 By Suleiman Umaru

 Bello Matawalle, the governor of the  north west state of Zamfara, described as home of Bandits , who has been at the forefront alongside Sheikh Abubakar Guumi, an Islamic Cleric,  in support of Negotiating with  the Bandits  to stop the increasing attacks in Bakura, Maradun, Maru, Tsafe , Shikanfi and  other hotbeds , Local Government Areas of the state appeared to have turned his back on the Bandits and ready to deal with them decisively.

The Zamfara governor  who believes his Negotiations and Reconciliation policy with the Bandits have failed  due to the  sabotaging efforts of the some politicians in the state  may have  realized that the only language that  the Bandits understand is the use of Force instead of treating the with the kids glove. This may have informed why he has decided to do tough on the Petroleum products dealers, motorcycle and tricycle riders in the state including Livestock and food items dealers  to ensure  the Bandits  sources of petrol and food supplies are blocked. There have been making the rounds in the state that unregistered motorcycles  aid Banditry in the state.

Matawalle: Governor Of Zamfara State

 Indeed the governor   may have known that if the activities of the motorcyclists and tricyclists  in the state could be effectively controlled , it would weaken their operations that may lead to their Collapse. Last March,  the BBC Housa , had reported how  a man who comes to Kano from Zamfara to buy cartons of  motorcycle  Honda ACE 125, popular BokoHaram  and supply them  to the Bandits in Zamfara  where they Assemble it in the bush and use them for attack in the state.

Note that  the Bandits in the north western states of Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto and Kebbi, mostly use  motorcycles as their  operational vehicles of kidnapping and attacks  on Communities. In reeling out the new  measures tackle Banditry in the state, , Zailani Bappa,  the governor’s Special Adviser on Public Enlightenment  and Media Communications disclosed that he has banned all filling stations in  most parts of the state from selling petroleum products except  in Gusau, the state Capital and 15 other Local government Arreas. He was said to have also made it clear to the dealers that they must not sell   petrol,  above  N10,00 to a Customer  to avoid giving room to the Bandits buying it from third parties  to power their motor cycles  to carry out attacks, kidnap,  Kill and go.

The governor,who appears to have adopted the hardline position of Nasir el-Rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, during Olusegun Obasanjo’s Presidency and now governor of Kaduna state, in dealing with the Bandits, may have known that the Bandits’ followers could disguise themselves to buy Petrol in Jerry cans which are sent their camps  that are dotted all over the state  that he has also banned he sell of petrol in Jerry cans at filling stations  in the state.

  This  may have informed  why he has sent a message to the Petroleum Products dealers  to stop selling the products  in Jerry cans  and  also banned roadside purchase  of petrol, which the people regarded as blackmarket as obtained in the neighbouring Niger Republic, to the people.

Bandits Killer Gang: Worse Than BokoHaram Designated As Terrorists

Other measures that was said to have been  initiated by Matawalle, who is determined to end all forms of Banditry in Zamfara state included the suspension  of  the transportation of Livestock  and food items  both within and outside a state, insisting that such lIVestock and food items  must be verified to avoid getting into the hand of the Bandits in their hideouts to feed  their followers in the  Camps which would still give them the strength to Launch attacks on Communities .  

He has made it clear to those that cares to listen  that the destination of  the livestock and food items  being transported   must be authenticated  to avoid seizure  and then, taken to the Orphanage homes in the state.  Ibrahim Dosara, the state Commissioner for Information had said that there are over 100 Bandits Camps  scattered all over the state  with over 32,000 followers who are known to have been  wreaking havoc.

The governor may have  descended on  the motorcycle riders  in the state who  are used to carrying two Passengers  that  it may no longer tolerated  because  the Bandits use to Launch attack on their targeted  communities and still escape the eagle  eye of the security operatives to their to hideout in the forests  to  regroup to prepare  for another operation   in any targeted Community in any Local Government Area of the state.

 Aware that there are  motorcylists who may want the government policy by carrying  two passengers, the governor has made it clear that they sand the risk of being shot by the security operatives  who have been deployed all over the nooks and crannies of the state’’ to ensure compliance  in its bid  to bring sanity  to the Communities’’.

The new security measures in the state, according to Bappa, the governor’s Special Adviser on Public Enlightenment   and Media Communications also includes the ban on riding motorcycles and tricycles   from 6pm to  in the state. Although, he may have extended  the motorcycle and tricycle riders time in Gusau, the Capital,  to 8pm and 6am to reduce pressure on the Commercial vehicles in the City and its environs because of the heavy human traffic He has made the  Tricycle riders  who covered their tricycles  to escape the eagle eyes of the operatives  from seeing clearly  passengers, to ascertain  whether they are Bandits or not  that this no longer be  allowed.

The  governor’s message to the tricycle riders was very clear  that that such tricycles would stopped by security operatives for routine checks  to verify its Passengers before being allowed  to continue their journey, meaning that any tricycle whose Passengers are suspects  may be seized and turned to government property as a deterrence others who might want to flout government’s Legitimate order.

Given the havoc that have been wreaked in the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna Katsina, and the north central states of Niger , particular, and Plateau, and Plateau state in the recent time, many had expected the retired Army General to declare the Bandits a terrorist Organisation. This is because what the Badits had done  in the two regions  is worse than what   the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram , did in the north eastern states of  Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, before it was declared a terrorist organization and also gave the northern American country  of the United States to also label it as Terrorist Organistaion and placed Late Abubakar Shekau, its Leader on their wanted list of terrorists in the world. It is also wose compared to what the Indigenous people of Biafra, IPB, did, before the government dragged  it to  Court where it was declared a terrorist Organisation.

But Garuba Shehu, a Senior  Special Assistant to the Katsina state born Nigerian on Media and Publicity may have reportedly shocked Nigerians  with is excuse why the Nigerian President has not designated  the Bandits as a terrorist Organisation because of ”a subsisting  shoot  on sight order against the armed Bandits and other violent groups in the country’’.

 He has made Nigerians to believe that ‘’what the Buhari Administration  has done  to the arms wielding Bandits is worse  than  being declared   as a terrorists Organisation’’. He had said that’’ the entire weaponry of the nation  is today  targeted  at the Bandits and terrorists’’, noting  that ‘’there is no shoot at sight order on IPOB’’.

 The question on the lips of most people was why  the Nigerian President, his security and Intelligence agencies   Chiefs are finding it difficult  to tell  Nigerians who is the Leader of Coordinating the attacks of the Bandits over the last six years.  

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