The governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has said not all bandits who terrorise parts of the state and other neighbouring states are criminals.
The governor stated this on Thursday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He explained that most of the bandits take up arms due to the injustice meted on them by some members of the society.
Hundreds of persons have been killed or kidnapped by the bandits in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Niger, Kaduna and Nasarawa States in recent years.
Despite the attacks on innocent citizens, Mr Matawalle has repeatedly called on the federal government to grant amnesty to repentant bandits. “Not all of them are criminals. If you investigate what is happening, and what made them to take the laws into their hands, some of them, sometimes were cheated by so-called the vigilante group.
They normally go to their settlements and destroy property and take their animals. They did not have anyone to speak with, so sometimes, they go for revenge. When the vigilante group attacks them, they go for reprisals. That is exactly what happened,” he said.