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Why Do Bandits Continue To Operate In Zamfara Despite The Recent Blockade?

Zamfara residents told BBC Hausa on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, that bandits continue to wreak havoc on them despite the recent blockade and claims of success by the Nigerian military.

A traditional ruler in Shinkafi Local Government Area of the state told the BBC that terrorists have in the past few days attacked eight villages in the local government, killing many and abducting more than 400 residents.

He said the bandits raid villages with impunity because there are no soldiers to confront them as there are just 20 soldiers and 18 to 20 policemen for the whole local government area with more than 300 towns and villages.

The traditional ruler admitted that the state Governor is now doing his best, but the security agencies are missing in action.

In my opinion, there are some important reasons why banditry persists in the North West region despite the recent blockade by the authorities. They include: 

1. Shortage of security personnel in the rural areas: As I’ve said from the very beginning, shutting down schools, markets, and telecommunications is useless if the security agencies don’t step up their efforts in the affected areas. Most of the killings and kidnappings happen in rural areas with few or no security officers. 

I understand that the security agencies are overstretched during this period due to different operations across the country. However, the government should employ local hunters and vigilantes to fight the bandits in the rural areas. 

Soldiers, police, and other security agents can be everywhere at the same time, and they are not too familiar with the terrain. Vigilantes, on the other hand, are also residents of the areas and very familiar with the environment. 

2. Another reason that banditry continues in Zamfara is that some locals are collaborating with them. Some of the residents are supplying them with information and logistics to continue their devilish mission. 

The government and security agencies must come up with a new strategy to end insecurity in Zamfara State. 

Photo credit: The PUNCH

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BBC Hausa Shinkafi Zamfara

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