The leader of repentant bandits in Zamfara State, Muhammadu Bello, has narrated how he agreed to meet the state commissioner of police, Usman Nagogo, inside the dreaded Shinkafi forest, for a peace meeting.
Bello said he met the police commissioner alongside a motorbike riding gang.
The ex-bandit said this while speaking at a peace meeting with stakeholders at the palace of Emir of Shinkafi, Alhaji Muhammadu Makwashe Isah, to consolidate on the achievement recorded since the start of peace dialogue in the state.
He said, “When they came to pass a message of peace and tranquillity to me, my armed boys on about 80 motorbikes advised me not fall to their ‘trick’ because there was a mistrust between the armed bandits and security operatives at that time.
“I then, told the armed boys I still would go and if it was a trick, then I’m ready to fall to it because we were tired of the situation. We wanted the carnage to stop and since a road map to peace was being developed, let’s participate to bring back the much-needed peace to the state,” he said.
“They were not armed and they agreed to meet armed men inside the forest; that means they were very serious and we had a fruitful discussion at that time. That was what led the foundation for the return of peace in the state.
“Peace has come to stay in Zamfara despite the fact that there are some deviants among us. They will not triumph on the ones with good intention and I’m calling on the farmers and herders to sheathe their swords as the dark days of bloodbath will not return,” he added.