Seven notorious bandits on Friday repented and surrendered their weapons to the Zamfara State Government.
The repentant bandits also took an oath to stop banditry and embrace the peace accord instituted by State Governor Bello Matawalle to end the decade-old banditry in the state.
They were received at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital, in the presence of some traditional rulers and Islamic clerics who took turns to counsel them as their weapons were handed over to the State Police Command.
They surrendered 14 weapons including AK 47 rifles.
The bandits who swore by the Holy Qur’an indicated their willingness to stop banditry and embrace peace for the rest of their lives.
The State Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran who presented the bandits to Governor Matawalle said they willingly took the decision to accept the peace offered by the Governor and will accept to be re-integrated into the society.
The governor accepted their resolve as they took the oath with the Holy Quran not to either go back to their past ways or become informants for their former colleagues who are yet to key into the peace process.
Governor Matawalle also promised to continue with the peace process in the state employing the carrot and stick approach towards a successful end to the menace in the state.
Zamfara State Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran while briefing journalists said over 1,000 kidnapped victims have been rescued and over 148 weapons with 1,418 live ammunitions surrendered by bandits since the inception of peace dialogue with bandits.
As part of efforts to fight banditry, Governor Matawalle’s administration has made it a policy to extend an olive branch to bandits who are willing to give up a life of crime.
The policy has been noted to have significantly reduced the frequency of banditry and bloody attacks in the state.
Other state governments in the northern region troubled by bandit activities have employed a similar approach with varying success.