* Four others surrender two AK47 rifles
Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Four repented bandits in Katsina State have handed over two AK47 rifles and ammunition to the state government after denouncing their heinous crimes that led to the death of many people in the state.
Also, no fewer than six bandits arrested and detained by the police in the state have been released in fulfillment of the state Governor, Aminu Bello Masari’s pledge at a dialogue meeting with leaders of the bandits across the eight frontline local government areas of the state.
The development is part of the ongoing effort to ensure peace and reconciliation, an initiative of the state governor, to ensure sustainable peace in the state.
The repented bandits, Abdullahi Mairafi, Audu Danda, Ardo Nashawali, and Sale Dangote, handed over the sophisticated weapons to state government yesterday in Shinfida village of Jibia Local Government Area at a dialogue meeting between them and the governor.
They assured the state government that the disarmament phase of the reconciliation meeting has just started, adding that more firearms in the custody of their remaining members “are going to be surrendered.”
One of the bandits, Abdullahi Mairafi, said: “We will make sure that the peace process doesn’t stop at releasing captives, but all weapons and ammunition in our custody and other militia group are surrendered to the state governor.
“Governor Masari is an indefatigable and courageous leader who has the interest of his people at heart. Therefore, we promised to work tirelessly to ensure that the people of the state sleep with their eyes closed.”
He, however, urged the state government to provide basic social amenities such as health centres, dams and schools to make life comfortable for those in the rural areas, particularly the herdsmen.
Masari, who received the repentant bandits and the weapons surrendered by the ex-hoodlums, said the state government would ensure that lives and property of herdsmen and other citizens in the state are protected.
He called on other repentant bandits in eight frontline local government areas of the state to lay down their arms for the sake of the people in the state.
In his remarks, the outgoing Army Commander of 17 Brigade in Katsina, Brigadier-Gen. Aminu Bande, said the army would not relent on its operation in the state until the state is cleared of banditry.
According to him, “Either the bandits like it or not, banditry must stop in Katsina State. Therefore, it is better for you (bandits) to renounce banditry and surrender your weapons now or forced to do so.”
Meanwhile, no fewer than six bandits arrested and detained by the police in the state have been released in fulfillment of the state governor’s pledge at a dialogue meeting with leaders of the bandits across the state.
Addressing journalists at the Government House in Katsina yesterday before handing over the repentant bandits, Masari said the state government took the decision following agreement reached between it and leaders of the miscreants.
He said leaders of the bandits were expected to release 20 kidnapped persons in their custody at various camps across Katsina and Zamfara States.
“Part of the agreement we reached with their leaders is that the government would hand over their members in detention that have not been prosecuted, and they would in return hand over to the state government kidnapped people under their care,” he said.