As the bloodbath, sorrow and fear across the country occassion by reign of bandits and kidnappers increase by the day, the bandits have squarely laid the blame on the Federal Government amidst allegation of betrayal.
A masked bandit has told Daily Trust in an interview that they had supported the government with the hope that the situation in the country would change for the better, but have come to the realisation that it was a misplaced optimism.
“We supported this administration and accepted dialogue because we thought Buhari would fix this country, but he won’t fix this country. From the time he praised Goodluck, Obasanjo, and Yar’Adua, these were not praiseworthy. It would have been better if he had praised Abacha, because, under Abacha, pastoralists were being educated”.
The hooded bandit surrounded by comrades-in-arm wielding sophisticated weapons in a video, indicated that there was an agreement that eventually went awry.
“An agreement was reached, but you left that person in the forest with a gun and nothing to substitute. What do you expect? How do you want that person to survive? All the promises made to us none of it was fulfilled”.
He said if he spilled the bean on happenings in the country, even the president will shed tears. “There is no day that someone is not killed between Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, Sokoto, and Katsina. There is no tribe that is spared, gunmen kill, soldiers kill, vigilantes kill. Whoever you see with a gun today in Nigeria, he uses it to kill people. You may not know but if I were to tell you the situation of things in this country, you will cry. Even the president will cry”.
“The president should personally come and preside over the talks. When he was campaigning, he travelled all over, why would he not do it now? He does not take these peace talks seriously and everyday people are being killed.
He further says efforts to broker peace had not achieved the desired result because President Muhammadu Buhari had not shown the expected commitment. He wants President Muhammadu Buhari to personnaly lead the peace talks.
He said they took up arms because their tribe (specifically the herders), were not carried along by the government. According to him, the herders had no security as they were being killed, and the government didn’t do anything.
He also accused the government of not providing education and government jobs for their young ones.
“During Abacha, there was allocation in the budget for the nomadic communities. There was no such thing again since Obasanjo became president. They stopped looking after the Fulanis. Their forests and grazing areas were taken over”.
The country has been plagued with an increase in the rate of various attacks and kidnappings, with bandits staging arsons, destroying farmlands, and terrorising communities.
A prominent Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, had met with some bandits in the forests of Zamfara, appealing for peace.
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