Against the backdrop of increasing banditry, kidnapping and killings in Zamfara State, the deputy governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Wakkala Muhammad on Wednesday led top military buffs including the GOC 1 division, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, and Police officials to Gobirawa Chali village in the troubled Dansadau district of Maru LGA of the state to hold peace talks with representatives of the bandits.
The peace meeting was also attended by the Brigade Commander 1 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General, G. K. Nwosu and Zamfara State Commissioner of police, Mr Alkali Shaba.
Others in attendance were Emir of Dansadau Alhaji Hussaini Umar, Abdullahi Maikano Dansadau and Maru local Government Council chairman, Salisu Isah Dangulbi among others.
The peace dialogue is the latest move by the political and military leadership to end the ugly menace of armed banditry, cattle rustling and more recently spate of kidnappings rocking the state
The Press Secretary, deputy governor’s office, Alhaji Yusuf Idris disclosed that the armed bandits asked for the meeting to be convened following series of aggressive military campaigns against them in the expansive forest of the state in recent times.
He said similar meeting with the leaders of the vigilante groups would hold this week adding that the dialogue would give room for the vigilante groups to channel their grievances too.
In his remarks, the deputy governor Mallam Ibrahim Wakkala Muhammad said Zamfara state Government had found it very imperative to have a peace dialogue between the government and all armed groups in the state in order to have a lasting peace that will promote Economic growth and Social activities.
He added that Zamfara state Government would support any collective peace
Negotiations with armed bandits, but the peace process must focus on achieving long lasting peace in the State and Nigeria at large.
Alhaji Wakkala further explained that the peace effort was aimed at stopping the incessant blood-letting of innocent citizens of the state.
He said Zamfara State Government had resolved to intensify dialogue in order to resolve the protracted crisis.
In his assertions, the General Commanding officer 1 Division of Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade said that the Mission of the meeting was to ensure peace return to Zamfara State and Nigeria at large for the purpose of having a peaceful and progressive nation that everybody would live.
General Adeniyi added that the peace mission is a process that everybody involved in the crisis would forgive one another and forge ahead with normal life saying that no state or nation will achieve a meaningful development without a peaceful environment.
Expressing their grievances at the Peace meeting leader of the armed bandits Buhari Tsoho notoriously known as “Buharin Daji” said all the grazing routes and grazing reserves were turned to farmlands by politicians and traditional rulers.