Auwalu Daudawa, the bandits’ leader behind the abduction of schoolboys in Kankara, Katsina State, said he agreed to surrender his guns to authorities after he learnt that armed banditry was fruitless and meaningless.
Daudawa spoke to newsmen on Tuesday at the headquarters of the Zamfara State Police Command in Gusau, the state capital.
- Quit order to herders: Northern governors confirm reprisal threats
- NEMA sacks 48 workers, 1 year after recruitment
Credible sources at the Zamfara Government House informed Daily Trust that Daudawa was the one who led dozens of gunmen who snatched 340 students from their hostels of Government Secondary School Kankara, in December, which sparked global outrage.
The repentant bandit was leading a gang of bandits with a base in Dumburum Forest in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state operating in Zurmi-Gidan Jaja and Jibia axes.
He said he believed many of the other armed men in Zamfara forests would soon follow suit, adding that they were looking for an opportunity to surrender their arms.
He explained that, “As armed bandits, we are being harassed by the local vigilante groups known as Yan Sakai and sometimes the security operatives. This harassment is what is prompting us to take up arms, and applying force will never stop the attacks.
“If Yan Sakai continue to carry out extra judicial executions of Fulani in marketplaces or in their settlements, there won’t be peace, and I’m telling you this from the bottom of my heart. But we thank Almighty Allah for guiding us to the right path.”
Former Local government Chairman arraigned
The Chief Magistrate of Court 2 sitting in Katsina has adjourned the matter of alleged ties with bandits involving a former local government chairman of Jibia in Katsina State to March 25, 2021.
Meanwhile, the embattled former local government chairman, Haruna Musa, was arraigned over five-count charges which include breach of trust and inciting disturbance.
The five charges brought against him by the police are all in connection with last December’s abduction of 344 students of Government Science Secondary school, Kankara.
The police First Information Report (FIR) containing the charges indicated that Musa was arrested on February 3, 2021, based on credible intelligence on his alleged links with bandits over the abduction.
“On January 30, 2021, at about 0800 hours as a member of Katsina State Fulani/farmers reconciliation committee entrusted with the mandate of negotiating between bandits/kidnappers/robbers in Katsina State, you breached the trust by deliberately using your Samsung GSM Phone with MTN Number 08032981919 in calling one well known armed bandits’ commander residing in Zamfara forest, Zamfara State who masterminded the kidnapping of the students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, sometime in December, 2020, instigating him with unverified information regarding the release of the said students,” the FIR read in part.
“As a result of this information to the commander of the armed bandits by you, he informed his gang who are now rising against the government and people of Katsina State, threatening to continue terrorising them for the money to be released to them. All these are contrary to Sections 298, 78 and 47 of the Penal Code Law of Katsina State (2019),” the FIR added.”
The two police prosecutors in the case, ASP Isa Litti and ASP EM Garuba, however, told the court that investigation was in progress and requested for a new date for the case to be mentioned.
The Chief Magistrate, Hajiya Aminat Ibrahim, granted the request and adjourned the case to March 25, 2021, and directed that the certified true copy of the FIR be released to Musa’s counsel, Barrister Ahmed Danbaba, as requested by him and then directed that Musa be remanded at a correctional centre.