Bandits in Gummi Local Government Area of Zamfara have agreed to embrace the peace dialogue and reconciliation initiated by the state government.
Muhammad Bello, one of the repentant bandits’ leaders stated this at Gummi Emir’s palace on Monday during a reconciliation meeting between warring parties in the area.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gummi Local Government Area is the only local government of the state with less security challenges until recently when bandits launched attacks on some communities.
The meeting was organized by the Peace Dialogue and Reconciliation Committee headed by the state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Usman Nagogo.
Bello said all the bandit groups terrorising the area had been identified and engaged by the state government in the ongoing peace and reconciliation initiative.
He said: “We have met with those bandit groups responsible for terrorising communities in this local government area. They agreed to stop the attacks.
“I am assuring you that, as we succeeded in other local areas, we are going to record similar success in Gummi local government area.
“Though, we faced some difficulties in identifying the problem here in Gummi, but as we organize this meeting today, we have reached agreement with all warring parties, all of them agreed to live peacefully with each other.”
Earlier, the Emir of Gummi, retired Justice Lawal Hassan said the area had been witnessing peace and stability for over six years until recently.
He said: “It is very unfortunate that there are some group of bandits responsible for the recent attacks on our communities purportedly retaliating the killing of their parents.
“As traditional rulers, we are working with government and security agencies to provide lasting solutions to these challenges.
“We thank God for this peace dialogue initiated by the state government; we are ready to cooperate with government and security agencies to ensure lasting peace in the state.”
In his remark, the Commissioner of Police, Nagogo described the meeting as fruitful.
He thanked the warring parties for attending the meeting and agreeing to accept peace.
Nagogo said that the state had recorded tremendous peace since the establishment of the Peace, Dialogue and Reconciliation Committee.
He appealed to people of the state to continue to cooperate with the government and security agencies to maintain peace and stability in the state.
During the meeting, representatives of Fulani herders alleged harassment and maltreatment on them by some districts and village heads as well as Hausa farmers.
The Hausa farmers also accused Fulani herders of kidnappings and attacks in communities in the area.
NAN reports that at the end of the meeting, all the warring factions agreed to live peacefully with one another in their respective communities.