As part of efforts toward peace in Zamfara State, the local vigilantes, otherwise known as Yan Sakai, and bandits have started an exchange of captives.
Some 25 Fulani women, men, and children held by the Yan Sakai since last April were released to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Usman Nagoggo. at the Emir of Dansadau’s place on Thursday.
Mr. Nagoggo said the exchange was part of the agreement reached with bandits in the state, adding that the captives would be handed over to Governor Bello Matawalle and would be kept in safe custody until the bandits release their captives.
"I’m representing the Inspector General of Police and Governor Bello Mutawalle here and I can tell you that we are very much committed to the peace process. There would be no deceit whatsoever that is why I’m appealing to the stakeholders to exercise patience,” Nagoggo said.
He said he had established contacts with many bandit leaders and he was always reminding them of the terms and agreement of the peace deal in case of any violation.
The Emir of Dansadau Alhaji Hussaini Umar said the peace dialogue would remain the best option to address the issue of armed banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnappings in the state.
“We were very much troubled by the bloody carnage in the state. Whether the killings are inimical to our well-being or not we have seen the result by now. We will continue to give our full support to anything that will ensure restoration of peace to the state,” the Emir added.
Some of the leaders of the Yan Sakai complained about the violation of peace agreement by the bandits saying they were compelled to carry arms in self-defence as most of them were orphaned by the deadly attacks carried out by the bandits.