A group of elder statesmen in Zamfara State has raised alarm over the alleged indiscriminate release of arrested bandits and their collaborators by the authorities in the state.
They urged the law enforcement agencies to stop the act, citing it as one of the factors responsible for the escalation of the insecurity in the state.
The group raised the alarm on Sunday at a meeting in Gusau, the state capital where it recommended the revitalisation of Community-Based Associations to generate funds for the establishment of primary and secondary schools, to offer free education to orphans who lost their parents as a result of banditry, in a bid to prevent a reoccurrence of such incidents.
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A former member of the National Assembly who represented Zamfara Central constituency, Senator Saidu Dansadau, briefed journalists on behalf of the group at the end of the meeting.
“The committee expresses its dismay and disappointment for indiscriminate release of criminals by the authorities who either arrest them or to whom the criminals are handed over when they are arrested by the military, vigilante group, or any other security organisation,” he said.
“We appeal to the law enforcement agencies in the state to, for the sake of God, have a paradigm shift from this indiscriminate release of criminals and resort to arraigning the criminals in the court of law because the meeting identified this indiscriminate and incessant release of criminals as one of the immediate causes of the escalation of criminality in the state.”
Senator Dansadau acknowledged that the security situation in the state has improved significantly following the shutdown of telecom services.
He, however, stated that places like Birnin Magaji, Shinkafi, and Zurmi Local Government Areas still face incessant attacks by bandits.
Members of the group comprise traditional rulers, religious leaders, senior citizens, and some political officeholders who came together to discuss how to mobilise Muslims and Christians to pray for the return of peace, and to support the government to succeed in the fight against banditry in Zamfara.