A lecturer at the Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Dr Murtala A. Rufa’I, has revealed how motorcycles donated by politicians aided the first bandit attack in Zamfara.
Rufa’i, while delivering a paper titled “I am a Bandit: A Decade of Research in Zamfara Bandit’s Den” at a public lecture organised by Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto noted that the abandoned youths used for thugs during election became bandits.
The lecturer further stated that the youth that went into drug abuse, robbery, cattle stealing and armed gangs were abandoned after the 2011 elections.
Rufa’i said, “There is this speculation that says politicians in the state-sponsored and armed some youths as political thugs to achieve their ambition in 2011. The youths were abandoned after winning the elections, who then went into drug abuse, cattle stealing, robbery and later transformed into armed gangs attacking villages on motorbikes.”
“The first motorbikes used in the attacks were donations from politicians during the elections campaign.”
He further stated other reasons responsible for the emergence of bandits were alleged extortion, exploitation and deprivation from different agencies.
He also alleged that pastoralists were denied justice mostly in the lower courts.
“When a pastoralist was involved in any squabble with a farmer, the case would usually delay unnecessarily. The accused Fulani, known to have a phobia for courts and their unwarranted justice delay, would be ready to bribe his way out of the court.
“Cases involving the police were the worst according to an informant who said that both the judges and police were ‘birds of the same feathers. The Fulani man according to the narrative had become a source of income for the law enforcement agents.
“Another factor is illicit mining because there was never a time that foreign illicit miners were either abducted or killed, raising the suspension among locals that armed banditry was an international conspiracy to displace and deny them access to their God-given natural resource.”
Meanwhile, the lecturer during the presentation also took time to reveal how banditry started in Zamfara State.