Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has stated that not all bandits who terrorize 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.
Giving reason for the activities of bandits, Matawalle explained that those saddled with the responsibility of protecting the community sometimes rustle their cattle and destroy their livelihood.
He said since they have nobody to speak to, they resort to violence.
“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,” the governor said.
He also indicted the military, whom he said contribute to the problems in the villages.
“Some of them are living in settlements close to villages or towns. When there are military operations, the military will go and destroy their property and animals. They are angry with such actions sometimes. If you are talking to them, you can understand where they are coming from and their problems,” Mr Matawalle said.