Zamfara State is gripped by fear as the alleged release of Gwoska Dankarami’s family members, a notorious bandit kingpin, has sent shockwaves through the community, causing palpable concern among youths and local leaders.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
According to sources cited by Naija247news, the mother and foot soldiers of Dankarami were recently apprehended by security operatives while returning from Hajj (pilgrimage) at an airport in the North West region.
Several weeks ago, reports suggest that security services were instructed to release Dankarami’s mother and his associates. In a seemingly complex exchange, Dankarami reciprocated by freeing some female students who had been held captive for months.
Naija247news also highlights that since the commencement of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, there have been behind-the-scenes efforts by security and intelligence officials to engage in dialogue with key bandit leaders, aiming to establish peace agreements and potentially initiate amnesty programs.
In a concerning revelation from a security source in the North West, the article emphasizes the escalating trend of ransom kidnappings by terrorists, particularly in Zamfara State. These criminals have adopted a more sophisticated approach, using multimedia to create audio-visual content targeting communities, families of kidnapped victims, and security agencies for ransom negotiations. This multimedia technique was notably deployed in a video depicting the plight of the abducted female students of Zamfara College of Arts and Sciences (ZACAS) in Gusau. Tragically, a mother who viewed the distressing scenes of her daughter in the video reportedly fainted and passed away suddenly.
The article by Naija247news underscores how bandits have evolved their tactics, carving out specialized territories for their operations and rendering some communities and villages ungovernable and off-limits to authorities.
Naija247news reports that Dankarami’s criminal gangs primarily operate in the Zurmi, Birnin Magaji, and Kaura regions. Meanwhile, the notorious Bello Turji operates from Shinkafi and has a wide network that extends into other local governments and parts of Sokoto. Other key players include Ado Haliru in Chafe, Gusau, and parts of Funtua in Katsina; Halilu Sububu’s group, which dominates Zurmi and Maradun; Nasama Nasawari in Birnin Magaji, and Dan Saade, who primarily operates in Bungudu and Kaura.
While military operations, including airstrikes, continue in the region, there is a growing call for a strong political will to eradicate banditry in the state.
A political scientist from Zamfara, who lectures at a federal university and spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed deep concern about the situation. He appealed for the intervention of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Ministry of Defence, emphasizing that the state government faces constitutional limitations in dealing with counter-insurgency matters.
The academic urged NSA Nuhu Ribadu and the two Defence Ministers, Abubakar Badaru and Bello Matawalle, who also hail from the North, to urgently devise strategies to decisively address the root causes of the banditry problem, including masterminds, kingpins, collaborators, and informants. He concluded by highlighting the continued prevalence of banditry despite recent peace efforts, citing recent incidents like the abduction of a mother and her daughter in Chafe, a husband and wife in Kaura Namode, traders in Bukuyyum, and the wife of a security personnel in Gusau, which has left residents living in fear and reluctant to leave their homes for safety.