Bandits terrorising Birnin-Gwari now hungry, says Emir

The traditional ruler of the troubled Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Emir Zubair Jibril Mai-Gwari II, has said that the armed bandits terrorising his domain have become hungry and are now easy to defeat with little efforts by the security agencies.

Mai-Gwari II stated this in his palace on Friday while playing host to Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Ali Aji Janga, who paid a familiarisation and operational visit to the local council.

Birnin-Gwari has suffered attacks by armed robbers, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and bandits who have killed hundreds of people in the area.

The emir, who was delighted with the visit of the Police Commissioner, said that with a more serious operation against the bandits, they would be defeated.

He appealed to the Police Commissioner to regulate the activities of a group identified as security volunteers, saying some of them were suspected informants to the criminals.

He stated: “The bandits are only carrying out their operations in secluded areas where there are small markets stalls and steal food in order to survive. They are hungry; they don’t have time to kill people again.

“If the police should restrategise, little effort will only be needed to scrape them all. They don’t have much weapons; they are hidden in obvious hideouts.

“The vigilant groups are also very helpful and they are playing very vital roles in the fight against crime in the local government. But the police should look into putting an end to the help of volunteers. They over react to situations and cause more damage in situations. The police should sit with them, get the good ones and recruit them to work together with the vigilantes.”

The emir added: “We are aware of the challenges faced by the police. We know you can’t instantly deploy police officers to us. But the few we have are putting in their best in the fight against criminality in the area. We have had a lot of police commissioners in the state. I have worked with about 20 while on the throne. We gave them all the support they needed to combat crime in our communities. We also pledge to give you our maximum support.”

Responding, the Commissioner of Police assured that banditry would soon become an issue of the past in the area. He revealed that simultaneous raid in all the states under armed bandits attacks was in the pipeline, assuring that his men would chase the bandits to their hideouts in the bush and make them bleed.

“The problem of banditry in Birnin Gwari is one among the major problems we have at heart. We would be ready, fully prepared and come to synergise with the vigilante groups and raid their hideouts. We assure the people of Birnin Gwari that the issue of banditry in the local government will soon become an issue of the past. We will go after them into the bush. We will engage them and blood will flow.

“A week ago, we met with the Inspector General of Police at Abuja. He spoke on the concrete plans especially for Birnin Gwari to curtail the criminal activities and banditry in the area and others states in Nigeria facing such problems of insecurity.

“The comprehensive operations order would be carried out simultaneously in Birnin Gwari and other states affected by similar challenges across Nigeria,” he assured.